What Are Some Facts About Spanish Moss?


Quick Answer

Spanish moss does not require soil to grow nor does it have roots. It is a perennial plant with small blue-green flowers, but is most notable for its 2-inch leaves and stems that hang from and cover some trees. Most often found on cypress and oak trees, Spanish moss is prolific in Central and South America, as well as warmer regions of the United States.

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Full Answer

Though its name indicates otherwise, Spanish moss is neither Spanish nor a true moss. Unlike true mosses that leach their nutrients from a host plant, Spanish moss produces its own food. Spanish moss is spread by its seeds and through division, and it is relatively easy to cultivate when the correct mixture of heat and humidity is achieved. Temperatures above 60 degrees Fahrenheit and a humid environment are required for the propagation of Spanish moss.

Spanish moss has been used for a variety of manufacturing purposes over the years, including stuffing for car seats and mattresses. Throughout history, it was used medicinally by Native Americans to relieve fever. Spanish moss is home to countless insects, reptiles, bats and birds due to its cooling nature. Songbirds and the northern yellow bat are common inhabitants of Spanish moss.

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