Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for March 1st, 2012

Spanish moss seen differently

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Click for greater clarity.

It’s probably safe to say that when we think of Spanish moss, Tillandsia usneoides, our minds emphasize the vertical dimension of this Southern plant as it hangs in long strands from the trees. Vertical our Spanish moss certainly is, but a closer look reveals that its strands can be quite dense, and in sections like this one not at all vertical. Notice the bits of green that wouldn’t be apparent from a distance. All in all, this reminds me of the flowering swirls of the unrelated Clematis drummondii that I enjoy photographing so much. (If you weren’t coming to this blog in its early days, you may want to compare the photograph that appeared last July).

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 1, 2012 at 1:26 PM

Spanish moss

with 14 comments

You know, the stuff you see hanging in long strands from the trees in movies about the Old South. It doesn’t grow in Spain and it’s not a moss: so much for truth in advertising. Known by botanists as Tillandsia usneoides, it’s an epiphyte, a plant that finds physical support on a tree or other plant or even an inert structure but isn’t a parasite. This is a section of a Spanish moss in a colony of them that I encountered in the preserve behind the Austin Nature Center on February 22. (A smaller relative, ball moss, Tillandsia recurvata, made a cameo appearance in the recent picture of a possumhaw beginning to leaf out.)

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 1, 2012 at 5:42 AM

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