Spanish moss

Spanish moss
an epiphytic plant, Tillandsia usneoides, of the southern U.S., having narrow, grayish leaves and growing in long festoons that drape the branches of trees.
[1815-25, Amer.]

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Epiphyte (Tillandsia usneoides) in the pineapple family, found in southern North America, the West Indies, and Central and South America.

It often hangs in large, beardlike, silvery-gray masses from trees and other plants and even on telephone poles, but it is not parasitic or structurally intertwined with its host. It takes in carbon dioxide and rainwater or dew for photosynthesis through tiny, hairlike scales that cover its threadlike leaves and long, threadlike stems. It absorbs nutrients from dust and solvents in rainwater, or from decaying organic matter around its aerial roots. Stalkless yellow flowers appear rarely. Spanish moss is sometimes used as a filler in packing boxes and upholstery, and around potted plants or floral arrangements.

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plant
also called  Black Moss, Long Moss, or Vegetable Horsehair 

      (Tillandsia usneoides), epiphyte (a nonparasitic plant that is supported by another plant and has aerial roots exposed to the humid atmosphere) of the pineapple family (Bromeliaceae). It is found in southern North America, the West Indies, and Central and South America.

      The silvery-gray plant often grows in large, beardlike masses. It has threadlike stems up to 6 to 7.5 metres (about 20 to 25 feet) long. The leaves, also threadlike, are about 2.5 to 7.5 centimetres (1 to 3 inches) long. The yellow flowers, which appear rarely, are stalkless, have three yellow petals, and three sepals, and usually grow singly. Hairlike scales that cover the whole plant absorb water from the air. Spanish moss sometimes is used as a filler in packing boxes and as upholstery.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Spanish moss — Moss Moss (m[o^]s; 115), n. [OE. mos; akin to AS. me[ o]s, D. mos, G. moos, OHG. mos, mios, Icel. mosi, Dan. mos, Sw. mossa, Russ. mokh , L. muscus. Cf. {Muscoid}.] 1. (Bot.) A cryptogamous plant of a cellular structure, with distinct stem and… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Spanish moss — Spanish Span ish, a. Of or pertaining to Spain or the Spaniards. [1913 Webster] {Spanish bayonet} (Bot.), a liliaceous plant ({Yucca alorifolia}) with rigid spine tipped leaves. The name is also applied to other similar plants of the Southwestern …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Spanish moss — ☆ Spanish moss n. a rootless epiphytic plant (Tillandsia usneoides) of the pineapple family, often found growing in long, graceful strands from the branches of trees in the SE U.S. and tropical America …   English World dictionary

  • Spanish moss — Taxobox name = Spanish moss image width = 250px regnum = Plantae divisio = Magnoliophyta classis = Liliopsida ordo = Bromeliales familia = Bromeliaceae genus = Tillandsia species = T. usneoides binomial = Tillandsia usneoides binomial authority …   Wikipedia

  • Spanish moss — Tillandsia usneoides Tillandsia usneoides Systematik Ordnung: Süßgrasartige (Poales) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Spanish moss — kedeninė tilandsija statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Bromelijinių šeimos dekoratyvinis, vaistinis augalas (Tillandsia usneoides), paplitęs Šiaurės ir Pietų Amerikoje. atitikmenys: lot. Tillandsia usneoides angl. Florida moss; long moss;… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • Spanish-moss — kedeninė tilandsija statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Bromelijinių šeimos dekoratyvinis, vaistinis augalas (Tillandsia usneoides), paplitęs Šiaurės ir Pietų Amerikoje. atitikmenys: lot. Tillandsia usneoides angl. Florida moss; long moss;… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • Spanish moss — noun dense festoons of greenish grey hairlike flexuous strands anchored to tree trunks and branches by sparse wiry roots; southeastern United States and West Indies to South America • Syn: ↑old man s beard, ↑black moss, ↑long moss, ↑Tillandsia… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Spanish moss — Tillandsia Til*land si*a, n. [NL., after Prof. Tillands, of Abo, in Finland.] (Bot.) An immense genus of epiphytic bromeliaceous plants confined to tropical and subtropical America. They usually bear a rosette of narrow overlapping basal leaves,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Spanish moss — Air plant Air plant (Bot.) A plant deriving its sustenance from the air alone; an a[ e]rophyte. [1913 Webster] Note: The Florida moss ({Tillandsia}, many tropical orchids, and most mosses and lichens are air plants. Those which are lodged upon… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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