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Encyclopedia > Spanish moss
Spanish moss

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Order: Bromeliales
Family: Bromeliaceae
Genus: Tillandsia
Species: T. usneoides
Binomial name
Tillandsia usneoides
(L.) L.

Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides) closely resembles its namesake (Usnea, or beard lichen). However, Spanish moss is not biologically related to either mosses or lichens. Instead, it is a flowering plant in the family Bromeliaceae (the bromeliads) that grows hanging from tree branches in full sun or partial shade. It ranges from the southeastern United States (Southern VA) to Argentina, growing wherever the climate is warm enough and has a relatively high average humidity. Image File history File linksMetadata Tillandsia_usneoides03. ... Scientific classification or biological classification is a method by which biologists group and categorize species of organisms. ... Divisions Green algae Chlorophyta Charophyta Land plants (embryophytes) Non-vascular plants (bryophytes) Marchantiophyta—liverworts Anthocerotophyta—hornworts Bryophyta—mosses Vascular plants (tracheophytes) †Rhyniophyta—rhyniophytes †Zosterophyllophyta—zosterophylls Lycopodiophyta—clubmosses †Trimerophytophyta—trimerophytes Pteridophyta—ferns and horsetails Seed plants (spermatophytes) †Pteridospermatophyta—seed ferns Pinophyta—conifers Cycadophyta—cycads Ginkgophyta—ginkgo Gnetophyta—gnetae Magnoliophyta—flowering plants... Classes Magnoliopsida - Dicots Liliopsida - Monocots The flowering plants (also angiosperms or Magnoliophyta) are one of the major groups of modern plants, comprising those that produce seeds in specialized reproductive organs called flowers, where the ovulary or carpel is enclosed. ... Liliopsida is the botanical name for a class. ... The Bromeliales is the botanical name of an order of flowering plants. ... Subfamiles Bromelioideae Pitcairnioideae Tillandsioideae Bromeliaceae (the bromeliads) is a large family of flowering plants native to the tropical and warm temperate New World. ... Species See text. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Carl Linnaeus, Latinized as Carolus Linnaeus, also known after his ennoblement as  , (May 23, 1707[1] – January 10, 1778), was a Swedish botanist, physician and zoologist[2] who laid the foundations for the modern scheme of nomenclature. ... Usnea is a common name for several species of lichen that generally grow hanging from tree branches, resembling grey or greenish hair. ... Subclasses Sphagnidae Andreaeidae Tetraphidae Polytrichidae Archidiidae Buxbaumiidae Bryidae Mosses are small, soft plants that are typically 1–10 cm tall, though some species are much larger. ... Lichenes from Ernst Haeckels Artforms of Nature, 1904 Lichens are symbiotic associations of a fungus (the mycobiont) with a photosynthetic partner (the photobiont also known as the phycobiont) that can produce food for the lichen from sunlight. ... Classes Magnoliopsida - Dicots Liliopsida - Monocots The flowering plants or angiosperms are the most widespread group of land plants. ... Subfamiles Bromelioideae Pitcairnioideae Tillandsioideae Bromeliaceae (the bromeliads) is a large family of flowering plants native to the tropical and warm temperate New World. ... The coniferous Coast Redwood, the tallest tree species on earth. ... Regional definitions vary from source to source. ... This article or section is not written in the formal tone expected of an encyclopedia article. ...


The plant consists of a slender stem bearing alternate thin, curved or curly, heavily scaled leaves 2-6 cm long and 1 mm broad, that grow vegetatively in chain-like fashion (pendant) to form hanging structures 1-2 m in length, occasionally more. The plant lacks roots and its flowers are tiny and inconspicuous. It propagates both by seed and vegetatively by fragments that blow on the wind and stick to tree limbs, or are carried by birds as nesting material. “Foliage” redirects here. ... Look up flower in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... who cares though]] island species, have also lost the ability to fly. ...

Close-up of Spanish moss
Close-up of Spanish moss

Contents

Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1167x839, 58 KB) Summary Close-up of Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides). ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1167x839, 58 KB) Summary Close-up of Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides). ...

Overview

In the southern U.S., the plant seems to show a distinct preference of growth on southern live oak and bald cypress, but it can colonize in other tree species such as sweetgum, crape-myrtle, other oaks, or even pine. Binomial name Quercus virginiana Mill. ... Binomial name Taxodium distichum (L.) Rich. ... Species Liquidambar formosana Liquidambar orientalis Liquidambar styraciflua The sweetgums Liquidambar are a genus in the witch-hazel family Hamamelidaceae, with three species of large deciduous trees, 25-40m tall, with palmately lobed leaves: Liquidambar formosana - Chinese Sweetgum (central & southern China, Taiwan). ... Species About 50, including: Lagerstroemia indica Lagerstroemia speciosa The Crape-myrtles Lagerstroemia are a genus of about 50 species of deciduous and evergreen trees or large shrubs native to east Asia and Australia. ... Subgenera Subgenus Strobus Subgenus Ducampopinus Subgenus Pinus See Pinus classification for complete taxonomy to species level. ...


Spanish Moss shelters a number of creatures, including chiggers, rat snakes and three species of bats. Look up Chigger in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Rat snakes are a type of snake that are members of the Elaphe, Bogertophis, or Senticoli genera. ... “Chiroptera” redirects here. ...


Sun-blocking epiphyte

Spanish moss is an epiphyte (a plant that lives upon other plants; from Latin "epi"=upon "phyte"=plant), which absorbs nutrients (especially calcium) and water from the air and rainfall. Spanish moss is colloquially known as "air plant". It is not a biological parasite in the same sense as another epiphyte, mistletoe (it does not burrow into the tree and suck out nutrients)- however this is using a technical meaning of "parasite" of the biological community. By using a tree's structure it blocks out sunlight that would otherwise fall on the host tree's own leaves. The amount of sunlight it blocks is proportional to the amount it reduces tree growth depending on the tree type. On some trees only smaller or lower branches will die but the tree will grow at a slower rate. Near Orosí, Costa Rica Epiphytes on a tree near Santa Elena in Costa Rica An example of an epiphyte assemblage of orchids and bromeliads in a garden setting in Hawaii An epiphyte is any plant that grows upon or attached to another living plant. ... Link title {{portal|Food} A nutrient is either a chemical element or compound used in an organisms metabolism or physiology. ... General Name, Symbol, Number calcium, Ca, 20 Chemical series alkaline earth metals Group, Period, Block 2, 4, s Appearance silvery white Standard atomic weight 40. ... Impact from a water drop causes an upward rebound jet surrounded by circular capillary waves. ... Rain is a type of precipitation which forms when separate drops of water fall to the Earths surface from clouds. ... A parasite is an organism that spends a significant portion of its life in or on the living tissue of a host organism and which causes harm to the host without immediately killing it. ... Families Santalaceae (Viscaceae) Loranthaceae Misodendraceae Mistletoe Viscum album is a plant parasitic on the branches of a tree or shrub. ...


It can grow so thickly on tree limbs that it gives a somewhat "gothic" appearance to the landscape, and while it rarely kills the trees it lowers their growth rate by reducing the the amount of light to a trees own leaves. It also increases wind resistance, which can prove fatal to a tree in hurricanes. Interior of Cologne Cathedral Gothic architecture is a style of architecture, particularly associated with cathedrals and other churches, which flourished in Europe during the high and late medieval period. ... Wind resistance is overall drag on a body due to its interaction with the atmosphere. ... This article is about weather phenomena. ...


Culture

Due to its propensity for growing in humid southern locales like Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, the plant is often associated with Southern Gothic imagery. Official language(s) de jure: none de facto: English & French Capital Baton Rouge Largest city New Orleans [1] Area  Ranked 31st  - Total 51,885 sq mi (134,382 km²)  - Width 130 miles (210 km)  - Length 379 miles (610 km)  - % water 16  - Latitude 29°N to 33°N  - Longitude 89°W... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Official language(s) English Capital Montgomery Largest city Birmingham Area  Ranked 30th  - Total 52,419 sq mi (135,765 km²)  - Width 190 miles (306 km)  - Length 330 miles (531 km)  - % water 3. ... Southern Gothic is a subgenre of the Gothic writing style, unique to American literature. ...


Human Uses

Spanish moss is sometimes bought for use in arts and crafts, or for beddings for flower gardens. The plant is commonly believed to be a habitat for chiggers, but only collects the mites after it has touched the ground. Spanish moss in its natural habitat, hanging from trees, does not harbor chiggers. Small wooden sculpture depicting a Native American mother holding her child. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Harve (genus Trombicula; also known as red bugs, trombiculid mites, scrub-itch mites, berry bugs or, in their larval stage, as chiggers) are mites in the family Trombiculidae that live in forests and grasslands. ...


Spanish moss is also known to have been worn by the women of the Timucua Indian tribe. Pre-contact distribution of Timucua One of the sketches by Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues showing a Timucua village The Timucua were an American Indian people who lived in Northeast and North Central Florida and southeast Georgia. ...


At one time, some 5,000 tons of Spanish moss were harvested and used in the U.S. alone. The plant is susceptible to air pollution. Air pollution is a chemical, particulate matter, or biological agent that modifies the natural characteristics of the atmosphere. ...


Former synonyms for this species were Dendropogon usneoides (L.) Raf. and Renealmia usneoides L. Spanish moss has been introduced to Hawaii, where it has become so common that it has acquired the common name "Pele’s hair" after Pele the Hawaiian goddess. poopadoodledoo In Hawaiian mythology, Pele is a goddess of fire, lightning, dance, volcanoes and violence, a daughter of Haumea and Kane Milohai. ... Hawaiian mythology is a variant of a more general Polynesian mythology. ...


Ethnomedical Uses

Tillandsia usneoides as an entire plant has been used to treat type II diabetes (mellitus), heart disease, edema, and hemorrhoids. See diabetes mellitus for further general information on diabetes. ... Heart disease is an umbrella term for a number of different diseases which affect the heart and is the leading cause of death in the United States as of 2007. ... This page is about the condition called edema. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ...


Folklore

Charleston, South Carolina, has told the story of a Cuban who came to the area with his Spanish fiancée in the 1700s to start a plantation near the city. Among other features mentioned for the bride-to-be was her beautiful, flowing raven hair. As the couple was walking through the forest to reach the location of their future plantation, they were attacked and killed by an army of the Cherokee tribe, who were not happy to have these strangers on their land. As a final warning to stay away from the Cherokee nation, they cut off the long, dark hair of the bride-to-be and threw it up into an oak tree. As they came back day after day, week after week, they noticed that the hair had shriveled and turned grey and had also spread throughout the tree. Wherever the Cherokees went, the moss followed them and would eventually chase them out of their homeland of South Carolina. To this day, if one will stand under a live oak tree, one will hear the moaning of the woman and will see the moss jump from tree to tree. It defends itself with a large army of beetles. [citation needed]

Spanish moss with open seed capsule in Santee Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina

Legendary Canadian singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot penned a ballad entitled Spanish Moss. [1] Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1800x1778, 638 KB)Spanish moss flower in Santee Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina - but it is not a Flower it is a open Fruit. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1800x1778, 638 KB)Spanish moss flower in Santee Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina - but it is not a Flower it is a open Fruit. ... Official language(s) English Capital Charleston(1670-1789) Columbia(1790-present) Largest city Columbia Largest metro area Columbia Area  Ranked 40th  - Total 34,726 sq mi (82,965 km²)  - Width 200 miles (320 km)  - Length 260 miles (420 km)  - % water 6  - Latitude 32° 2′ N to 35° 13′ N  - Longitude... Gordon Meredith Lightfoot Jr. ...


References

  • Spanish moss and ball moss
  • Mabberley, D.J. 1987. The Plant Book. A portable dictionary of the higher plants. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 706 p. ISBN 0-521-34060-8.
  • ITIS 42371 2002-08-25
  • A brief history of the Timucua people of Northern Florida [2]
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External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Encyclopedia: Spanish moss (1324 words)
Spanish moss is an epiphyte (air plant), which absorbs nutrients (especially calcium) and water from the air and rainfall.
Spanish moss is sometimes bought for use in arts and crafts, or for beddings for flower gardens, but the plant in its natural habitat can contain chiggers (which burrow under human skin and cause considerable itching).
Spanish Moss (Tillandsia usneoides) is not a moss at all, but a flowering plant in the Family Bromeliaceae (the bromeliads) that grows hanging from tree branches in full sun or partial shade from the Southeastern United States through Argentina -- wherever the warm climate has a relatively high average humidity.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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