Just as many visitors, when I first came to Florida and noticed this strange gray stuff hanging off trees and power lines, I wondered what it was and why it was there.
Unfamiliar with it, I found it rather unappealing. It eerily reminded me of cob webs --- something I could tolerate maybe for Halloween but otherwise could not understand why it wasn't cleaned up.
Having lived in the South for many years now, I find that I have gotten used to the gray stuff that is called Spanish Moss.
In fact, I even discovered that I can find some strange beauty in it. It has a certain way to gently sway in the breeze and it changes appearance with the way the light filters through it at different times of the day. I guess after all these years, Spanish Moss is starting "to grow on me!"
So what is Spanish Moss, sometimes also called Florida moss, or gray beard (how fitting is that?). It actually is not a moss at all but an epiphyte plant which grows on another plant but does not rely on it for food.
Spanish Moss is not an air plant neither as it does not have a root system. The plant catches moisture and nutrients from the air through its silvery-gray scales, during droughts the plant just goes dormant until moisture returns.
Birds, bats, and squirrels make use of the plant for nesting material. Florida's Indians used the plant for bedding, making cords, or in the making of clay pots. Even in the early parts of this century, Spanish moss was used industrially for stuffing upholstery and mattresses. Today you may see it in flower arrangements, as mulch, or just hanging from trees!
If you are thinking about buying a home or land for personal or investment use, or you are thinking about selling in Hernando County, Florida, including the communities and neighborhoods of Hernando Beach, Weeki Wachee, Brooksville and Spring Hill, Glen Lakes, Timber Pines, Silverthorn, Seven Hills, Sterling Hill, Pristine Place, and Southern Hills Plantation and you want to work with a local area Realtor who knows these neighborhoods please contact Silvia Dukes, P.A., Tropic Shores Realty.
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