Wild Florida Photo
Nature Photography by Paul Rebmann
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This airplant is a distinctive characteristic of the southeastern United States and can be found throughout Florida, most often in live oak and bald cypress trees. The range extends though the coastal states from Maryland into Texas, plus Arkansas.
An epiphyte consisting of slender, curvy, silvery-scaled stems and leaves making up pendulous bundles that hang from tree branches. Flowers and fruit are inconspicuous.
The species name is derived from the similar appearance to the lichens of the genus Usnea, usually called old man's beard.
Spanish moss does not directly harm the host trees, although thick populations can block the light to lower leaves, resulting in less growth, and can also cause problems in high winds due to increased wind resistance.
Other species of the Tillandsia genus in the Wild Florida Photo database:
View Tillandsia fasciculata var. densispica - CARDINAL AIRPLANT
View Tillandsia setacea - SOUTHERN NEEDLELEAF
View Tillandsia variabilis - SOFT-LEAVED WILD PINE
View Tillandsia balbisiana - NORTHERN NEEDLELEAF
View Tillandsia utriculata - GIANT AIRPLANT
View Tillandsia bartramii - BARTRAM'S AIRPLANT