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Spanish Moss, Pele's Hair

Tillandsia usneoides


The spanish moss, also known as Pele's Hair in Hawaiʻi, is a flowering plant that grows on the branches of trees. This plant requires a warm climate with high humidity. The leaves are 2-6 centimeters long, and about 1 millimeter wide. The structure can even grow up to 6 meters long. This plant lowers the rate of the trees growth, by reducing the light given to the trees leaves. This plant is known as epiphyte, because it absorbs its nutrients from the air and waterfall. The flowers on the plant are very tiny. The seeds are blown in the wind, so they can grow on other trees, or carried by birds. Uses to the plant that was used in the past was, insulation, mattress stuffing, fiber, and car seat padding.


This plant was found right in front of the Bernice Pauahi Heritage Center on Kamehameha Schools Kapalama Campus (on the island of Oahu) The climate is warm.


This plant is a alien to the Hawaiian Islands. The Hawaiians had believed that this plant was Pele's hair.

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1 Comment

Seema a year ago

these lichens look magical to me...

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Kamehameha Schools
Spotted by a student at Kamehameha Schools

Lat: 21.34, Long: -157.86

Spotted on Dec 2, 2012
Submitted on Dec 2, 2012

Related spottings

Tillandsia Tillandsia. Tillandsia Tillandsia.

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Spanish Moss, Tillandsia usneoides Unknown spotting Desert Rose Frangipani, Plumeria