Going Native

Spanish Moss (aka Tillandsia usneoides)

There’s no missing the Spanish moss hanging from tree after tree in Central Florida. Point your camera in any direction, and it’s sure to be in the frame.

But when I looked harder, I found a wide variety of air plants on the ground, in trees and even perched in rocky crevasses along the side of the road.

Today I collected a few specimens for a little centerpiece for our campsite. I tried to identify the plants using google. I think the large one is another Tillandsia.

There are more than 500 varieties of Tillandsia.

The nifty thing about air plants is they get their nutrients from the air instead of the structure that supports them. They are considered Epiphytes, which means they attach themselves to plants without doing damage to them.

Crafters love air plants because they can glue mount or tie them on things without destroying the plant.

Care involves some spritzing, the occasional soak, and monthly fertilizer. According to the web, even I can keep an air plant alive in Connecticut.

For everything you ever could want to know about Epiphytes check out the website for Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota. A not to miss place if you like to look at flowers (and who doesn’t? )


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