Tagged: plantations

Mesmerized by Stunning, Spooky Spanish Moss Hanging from Ancient Trees

October 7th, 2012 Permalink

One of the first things to strike you with a sense of wonder when you visit the deep South is the grandeur of beautiful, draping Spanish moss decorating the huge trees. While the hanging moss has a mysterious appeal for people not used to seeing such natural beauty, Spanish moss-draped live oak trees thrive in the southeastern United States. If you don’t live there, then the charming and somewhat spooky appearance of the silver-gray strands, hanging like natural Halloween decorations, summon images of old plantations, bayous and the swamps like seen in movies. The fall season and bright foliage of northern colder climates steal the show during autumn, but for portions of the south, Spanish moss is a show stopper year-round. When it sways in the wind at night, this tangled ‘tree hair,’ as the Native Americans called it, is both eerie and intriguing. French explorers dubbed it ‘Spanish Beard’ as an insult, so the Spanish then named this moss ‘French Hair.’ It’s been used as bedding, stuffing, upholstery, insulation, mulch, medicine and in arts and crafts; it’s even been used as an ingredient in making voodoo dolls. Yet this flowering plant, is is not even a true moss. It’s a distant member of the pineapple family and grows until it looks like it’s dripping from large trees. It can grow over 25 feet long and does not kill the giant, ancient trees. Here’s a look at some stunning, spooky Spanish Moss. [48 Photos]

St Helena Chapel of Ease, South Carolina, a stunning example of the Spanish Moss that grows on trees in South Carolina

St. Helena Chapel of Ease, South Carolina, a stunning example of the Spanish Moss that grows on trees in South Carolina. This moss grows well in Southeastern America, such as the area comprising the extreme southern portion of Virginia and the Gulf Coast country from Florida to Texas in varying quantities. It mostly grows on larger cypress, gum trees, oaks, elms, and pecan trees. Spanish moss for commercial quantities grows in the lower Mississippi Valley and especially in the swamp lands like in Louisiana and Florida or where the rainfall is heavy. Photo #1 by Nick (puritani35)

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