Certain things just shout, "Southern", and Spanish Moss is one of those things isn't it?
Just like real maple syrup shouts "Northern". (Southern cane syrup just can't compare)
You can Google Spanish Moss and get all the biological particulars. My personal persepective is ...
- It's beautiful.
- It does NOT kill healthy trees, but will grow thickly over the bare, dead branches of dying trees, giving the illusion that the moss killed the tree.
- It's an epiphyte, not a real moss.
- Down here, we grow up learning that it is loaded with red bugs. I don't know that it really is, or why it would be. Chiggers find more food down in the understory.
- When it's damp, it makes great smoke on a campfire ... when you are 7 and need to send up smoke signals, all you need is damp Spanish moss and a palm frond to separate your puffs.
- Dry, it makes pretty decent tender, and I've used it along with a flint and a steel striker to start a fire ... back in my reenactor days.
- When I first moved to my current side of Florida, many of the country kids I taught made extra money "pullin' moss". They pulled it from trees, cleaned it of sticks, bats, and ratsnakes, and then sold it to craft store suppliers. It's been years since I have heard anyone mention pulling moss.
- In the seventies, it was dying out throughout the state and this received alot of press. Seems fine now.
- Way back before my time, it was used for stuffing chairs etc.
- I like the way it signals the seabreeze is about to kick in.
That is all, I moss get to work.