Common Names: Spanish Moss, graybeard, grandfather’s Whiskers
Origin: Tillandsia usneoides is native to the southern region of North America, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean islands.
Description: Tillandsia usneoides is an epiphytic herb with long thread-like silvery-grey stems and a weeping habit allowing it to hang from the branches of trees. Its leaves are not only very thin but grow with a twisted form only 1.5cm-3cm long (6). Both leaves and stems are a greenish hue but appear powdery grey under dry conditions (6). The entire structure of leaves and stems forms wiry tresses up to 25 feet long (6). Although Tillandsia usneoides lacks roots, its stems are covered in tiny hairlike structures, called trichomes, that catch moisture and debris, providing both water and nutrients (4,3,6). Stems also provide structural support, as they wrap around structures and allow the plant to attach to a substrate. Tillandsia usneoides produces tiny inconspicuous white flowers, and tiny black seeds (1). Its seeds possess a feather-like structure for wind dispersal. However, Tillandsia usneoides appears to propagate more readily from division (4,6).
Cultivation and Care: