The lore of a luring beard…

Spanish Moss (Tillandsia usneoides) symbolizes the Southeast lowlands of the U.S. When one visits anywhere from Virginia to Florida, Spanish Moss is a regular feature of the landscape. This “air plant” adds romance to the gardens, favoring Southern Live Oak and Bald Cypress trees. Grandpa’s Beard is it’s most common nickname. It also is connected to a folk lore about “the meanest man who ever lived”. This story tells of a man’s white hair who grew so long that it would get caught in trees. Spanish Moss gets it’s nutrients from the air and water so does no damage to its hosts. When it grows densly on a tree the tree growth might slow because of less sunlight. Copyright 2021 Pamela Breitberg

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