Live Oak Trees With Spanish Moss by AuntDot

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Live Oak Trees With Spanish Moss by 

The live oak trees in Florida are huge and many are covered with Spanish Moss. I took this photo in Floral City, Florida from the car window.

Canon EOS Rebel XSi/450D
1/60s, f/5.6, ISO 100, focal length 55.0mm, enhanced in Topaz Adjust

FEATURED in Ferns and Mosses Around the World, June 3, 2012
Top Ten Winner in the “St. Patrick’s Day – Lots of Green” challenge in Americas~Rural, Urban, Wild & Free, March 25, 2012

From the website of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS)
Spanish-moss (Tillandsia usneoides):
Spanish-moss, also called Florida moss, long moss, or graybeard, is not a true moss. It is an epiphytic plant, which grows on another plant, but does not rely on the host plant for nutrients; epiphytes make their own food. They are sometimes referred to as air plants because most have aerial roots; however, Spanish-moss does not have any roots. It uses its long, thin, scaly stems to wrap around the host tree and hang down from the branches. The leaves are covered with cup-like, permeable scales that ‘catch’ moisture and nutrients from the air and from pockets on the surface of the host. This water-trapping ability allows Spanish-moss to withstand long dry periods. In extreme dry spells, the plant becomes dormant until moisture returns. While the plant is not parasitic, it can sometimes damage the host tree by over-shading the leaves, thus reducing photosynthesis, or by weighing down and breaking the branches.


moss, spanish moss, live oak trees, trees, floral city, greybeard, epiphytic plant

Having lived most of my life in the northeast U.S., I am enjoying retired life in sunny Florida. I enjoy photographing many different kinds of things, but especially flowers and animals, including the beautiful birds found here in Florida. I am currently using a Canon EOS Rebel XSi/450D camera, a Canon 55-250 mm telescopic zoom lens, and a Sony P10 Cyber-shot digital camera. My newest acquisition is a Canon PowerShot SX260 HS, a point and shoot which I will be carrying in my purse.

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  • AuntDot
    AuntDotover 2 years ago

  • Bonnie T.  Barry
    Bonnie T. Barryover 2 years ago

    I love the Old South feel of Spanish moss in live oaks; we have this here in southern Louisiana as well, so I can really relate to your beautiful image, Dot. Well captured!

  • Thank you, Bonnie.

    – AuntDot

  • virginian
    virginianover 2 years ago

    Wonderful – love the moss.

  • Many thanks, Judy!

    – AuntDot

  • Monnie Ryan
    Monnie Ryanover 2 years ago

    Beautifully done, Dot! Every time I see moss for some reason I think of the “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” book. Guess it’s the Southern influence!

  • Thank you, Monnie. It’s so dense in some areas. I always think of Savannah, Georgia when I see it. I don’t know why….I’ve never been there!

    – AuntDot

  • Rosalie Scanlon
    Rosalie Scanlonover 2 years ago

    Beautiful capture Dot.

  • Many thanks, Rosie!

    – AuntDot

  • Lynda Heins
    Lynda Heinsover 2 years ago

    Lovely capture Dot……..just love the way this moss grows, looks amazing!!

  • Thanks much, Lynda. Glad you like it!

    – AuntDot

  • artisandelimage
    artisandelimageover 2 years ago

    All Around Florida Group

    (your vote is needed here !!!)

  • Scott  Cook
    Scott Cookover 2 years ago

    Very cool shot Aunt Dot. Great texture!!

  • Thanks, Scott! Much appreciated!

    – AuntDot

  • billfox256
    billfox256over 2 years ago

    A fascinating capture!!!! A really excellent shot!!!! Bill

  • Many thanks, Bill!

    – AuntDot

  • AndreaEL
    AndreaELover 2 years ago

    Excellent capture Dot, so much life on the old trunks.

  • Many thanks, Andrea!

    – AuntDot

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