Epiphytes are plants that grow upon other plants, and surely the most famous epiphyte in Louisiana is the Spanish moss that grows all over the live oaks and cypress trees. Spanish moss may look rough and scratchy, but this lovely plant is surprisingly soft and spongy, made up of fluffy threads which pull nutrients not from their hosts but from the air around them. This moss, sometimes called air plant, has been used for a number of things throughout history, including building insulation, packing material, furniture stuffing, and even padding car seats in the early 1900s. The moss is still used today in small quantities by a number of local craft artists. But in the wild this strange plant can hide quite a number of creepy crawlies, like rat snakes, bats, and one special species of jumping spider that has only ever been found in Spanish moss, so if you ever find yourself under neath it…watch out!
The Epiphyte of the Swamp
Aug 6, 2012 | Tours