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Spanish moss

Habit Plants pendent in long festoons, flowering to 300 cm.



4–8, 2-ranked, often twisted or contorted, gray to silver-gray, 1.5–3 × 0.1–0.2 cm, densely grayish-scaly;

sheath pale, narrowly elliptic, not inflated, not forming pseudobulb, 0.2–0.4 cm wide;

blade filiform, succulent, margins involute to nearly tubular, apex acute.


scape concealed within leaf sheath, appearing scapeless, pendent with shoot, ± 1 mm diam.


1, inconspicuous, apparently sessile;

sepals free, ovate, not keeled, 0.6–0.7 cm, thin, veined, apex acute, surfaces glabrous;

corolla spreading, petals spreading, yellow-green, elliptic, to 1 cm;

stamens included;

stigma included, simple-erect.


to 2.5 cm.


bracts enveloping flower, erect, green, broad (covering all or most of rachis, rachis not visible at anthesis), ovate, not keeled, 0.4–0.5 cm, thin-leathery, apex acute, surfaces densely grayish-scaly, venation even to slight.

Tillandsia usneoides

Phenology Flowering summer.
Habitat Epiphytic, occasionally on fences, telephone lines
Elevation 0–300 m [0–1000 ft]
from FNA
AL; AR; FL; GA; LA; MS; NC; SC; TX; VA; Mexico; Central America; South America; West Indies
[WildflowerSearch map]
[BONAP county map]
Source FNA vol. 22.
Parent taxa Bromeliaceae > Tillandsia
Sibling taxa
T. baileyi, T. balbisiana, T. bartramii, T. fasciculata, T. flexuosa, T. paucifolia, T. pruinosa, T. recurvata, T. setacea, T. simulata, T. utriculata, T. variabilis, T. ×floridana, T. ×smalliana
Synonyms Renealmia usneoides, Dendropogon usneoides
Name authority (Linnaeus) Linnaeus: Sp. Pl., ed. 2 1: 411. (1762)
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