Nothing is quite as indicative of the US Southern landscape as the sight of Spanish moss draped trees, especially the majestic live oaks. Even a relatively young tree can take on the look of antiquity when softened by lovely gray-green moss hanging from each branch. Spanish moss is not actually a true moss but is a member of the Bromeliaceae family and is an epiphyte, vegetation which obtains moisture and nutrients through the air and not from the plant upon which it lives. Here in Eastern South Carolina, Spanish moss is found gracing oaks of many types and on various hardwoods along the black water rivers and wetlands as well as in cultivated settings on the limbs of showy flowering crape myrtles with their clusters of pink, white or red blossoms and on other small decorative trees. From the gracious oak lined drive of an old plantation house to the backwoods cypress swamps, moss draped trees create an atmosphere reminiscent of soft and humid summer afternoons when the landscape might be filled with dragon flies and the sound of cicadas.

Majestic Live Oak Tree in Conway, SC
Photograph by MM Anderson

6 thoughts on “Spanish Moss

  1. Great info! I love to see the Spanish Moss on trees. There are some oak trees in South Texas that get draped with it which I saw many years ago. It makes the trees look ancient and so interesting. 🙂

  2. MM, What a beautiful post! Here in Kentucky, we have mistletoe that features prominently in winter when the tree limbs are bare and I always enjoy seeing that along with last year’s birds’ nests, now exposed. Spanish moss, however, lends a romantic grace to trees that any artist longs to paint…thank you for your glimpse of beauty today as I am trying to learn to navigate this site as a new member who is relatively new to this « techy » world! I would welcome any helpful hints..:-)Have a great day! Laurel

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