Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Spanish Moss

Spanish Moss (Tillandsia usneoides) is a common "air plant" found in many southern states. It's northernmost range is Virginia Beach. Spanish Moss is found in eastern North Carolina and on Ocracoke, but there are only patchy quantities of it on the island. 

Spanish Moss on Lawton Lane

Spanish Moss is an epiphyte (not a moss, in spite of its name), which means it absorbs minerals (mainly calcium) and water from its host tree and rainfall. It has no aerial roots. This plant is typically found on southern live oaks because of the beneficial minerals that leach from the leaves.

Spanish Moss can be seen growing on trees on Lawton Lane, the Back Road, and elsewhere throughout the village.

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is a tribute to a wonderful man who did much for Ocracoke Island, Marvin Wyche Howard (1897-1969). You can read it here:


  1. Anonymous6:36 PM

    Spanish lacy and pretty. NC Mainlander always notices Spanish Moss in various places on O.I. If I'm not mistaken, I have also seen it gently swaying from trees during my walks @ Springer's Point. Also, reminds me of my honeymoon in Charleston, SC, but that's another story and place from a long time ago!!!!!!

  2. Vickie Pavlik8:27 PM

    Best toilet tissue in the backcountry.

  3. Debbie Leonard6:25 AM

    I'd rethink that toilet tissue comment...Spanish moss harbors chiggers.