Tillandsia usneoides (‘Spanish Moss’ Air Plant)
Tillandsia usneoides (or Spanish moss as it’s commonly known) is possibly the most widespread air plant in nature. It’s long stems of silvery foliage has found many decorative and more practical uses over the years.
Neither moss nor from Spain, Tillandsia usneoides goes under many names.
- “usneoides” – ‘usnea’-an type of epiphytic lichen, ‘oides’ from the Ancient Greek ‘εἶδος’ meaning likeness. i.e. looks like usnea.
- “Spanish moss” – Considering it’s apparent resemblance to the epiphytic lichen and the fact it is found in many of the former Spanish colonies of the South Americas, this needs little more explanation.
- “Old Man’s Beard” – This name stems from tales of where the plant came from… In 1947 Wyndham Hayward reported on a legend that the great Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto pursued an Indian Maiden through the forest and up a live oak tree. During the chase his grey beard became entangled in the tree, giving the maiden an opportunity to escape. De Soto freed himself, but several wisps of his beard were left behind. The remnants became Spanish Moss.
- “Vegetable Wool”, “Southern Moss”, “Black Moss” & “New Orleans Moss” – in 1930′s America, a new industry arose around Tillandsia usneoides. Throughout the Florida and Louisiana regions, factories processed the air plant on a commercial scale. The tough inner fibres were processed for use as the new upholstering material. Described at the time as ‘odourless, sanitary, naturally mothproof, to have a lasting resiliency which is surpassed by that of only the best grades of horsehair’, the processed inner core of the air plant was used in the upholstered seats of streamline trains, transcontinental busses, airplanes, yachts, deluxe trailers, mattresses, household furniture, and even the early Ford Model T cars are said to have been upholstered using it.
- Flower colour: Yellow/ Green
- Watering: Moderate
- Light: Moderate
Supplied as a small bunch of strands, approximately 30-40cm (roughly 12″ – 16″) in length.
Out of stock