Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Lush Spanish moss

with 16 comments

The first thing that caught my attention at Palmetto State Park on January 29th wasn’t the palmettos but the lush Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides) hanging from many of the trees. Extra points if you know that Spanish moss is an epiphyte and a vascular plant rather than a true moss. Even more points if you can say lush Spanish moss quickly five times without messing up.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 9, 2021 at 3:47 AM

16 Responses

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  1. Nope, couldn’t do it. I got to 4 and messed it up. I think Spanish Moss is so neat and yet eerie.
    Have you been to Point Lobos in Big Sur? There’s a bit of forest one can hike through that has Spanish Moss …I think it’s Spanish Moss hanging from the trees. I love walking through that section of the park.


    February 9, 2021 at 7:56 AM

  2. I take as a sign for a good day coming, because I was able to master your tongue twister, Steve.

    Peter Klopp

    February 9, 2021 at 8:08 AM

    • You’re a better man than I, who fell short of five times. May it be a good omen for you indeed.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 9, 2021 at 10:50 AM

  3. An impressive bearded tree, Steve! A nice composition too, and I like the way the colors play in that one.

    Lavinia Ross

    February 9, 2021 at 8:30 AM

    • Impressive it is, and it pressed me into taking its picture. I’ve never had a beard anything like that, at least not in length; color, yes.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 9, 2021 at 10:52 AM

  4. That’s a tongue twister… and what a beautiful sight!


    February 9, 2021 at 9:32 AM

    • I found the Spanish moss captivating, much more so than the specimens I’d spent time photograph in Austin just two days before the visit to Palmetto State Park.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 9, 2021 at 10:57 AM

  5. Gorgeous. At first glance I was reminded of the riot of cherry blossoms from my time in Washington, D.C.–one of my favorite memories from that time.


    February 10, 2021 at 3:50 PM

    • I’d never have thought of comparing Spanish moss to cherry blossoms in Washington. I checked and found that Spanish moss makes it almost to Washington.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 11, 2021 at 7:22 AM

  6. I managed the phrase twice before stumbling. That sh-sp combo is the tricky one. Eliminating the ‘h’ helped. It took me a few minutes to realize why your photo seemed so different. The gray and light blue combination’s not one I usually see. Most of our moss hangs on trees that still have leaves, so a gray and green combination’s more common. This is really nice; it gives the moss pride of place.


    February 11, 2021 at 9:37 AM

    • We ended up picking a good time to visit Palmetto State Park, for the reason you said: the lack of leaves gave an unobstructed view of, and pride of place to, the Spanish moss. Not till you mentioned it did I think about the absence of green in the photograph’s color scheme. You’ll have photographic fun when you do make it there.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 12, 2021 at 7:20 AM

  7. […] seen how Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides) festooned the trees at Palmetto State Park on January 29th. Now here are two closer looks. In the top one the Spanish […]

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