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Ball Moss or Air Plant

Tillandsia recurvata

Description:

Moss that grows in power lines, it's common to see this especially in rural villages. From where does it gets the nutrients to live? Ball Moss, is a flowering plant (not a true moss). It derives only physical support and not nutrition from its host, photosynthesizing its own food, receiving water vapor from the air, and obtaining nitrogen from bacteria.

1 Species ID Suggestions

Spanish Moss
Tillandsia usneoides Spanish moss


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13 Comments

Jacob Gorneau
Jacob Gorneau 10 years ago

I think you are right, Luis. But I would acknowledge in the description that it is actually neither related to moss or lichen. It's actually an "air plant," as others formerly notioned.

LuisStevens
LuisStevens 10 years ago

Thanks to Leuba, jgorneau y Cacilia. J, I think I have found the right ID.
Please check this link and let me know what you think.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tillandsia_....
It mentions all you have said.

Jacob Gorneau
Jacob Gorneau 10 years ago

*the Spanish moss, not the miss

LuisStevens
LuisStevens 10 years ago

Cecilia, Thank you for the ID

Jacob Gorneau
Jacob Gorneau 10 years ago

Yes, but I think in your case the miss doesn't have much to hang down from, which would result in the balling up of the plant you see.

LuisStevens
LuisStevens 10 years ago

Jgorneau, thank you for the ID. But I think spanish moss grows and forms long beard flowing down from the branches and the "moss" in this spotting stays in this form (balls) always.

LuisStevens
LuisStevens 10 years ago

Thank you Leuba for the picture link, as I was saying,is a common sighting in little towns in Mexico

LuisStevens
LuisStevens 10 years ago

Thank you Leuba

Jacob Gorneau
Jacob Gorneau 10 years ago

Ironically enough, the species is not related to moss or lichen.

Jacob Gorneau
Jacob Gorneau 10 years ago

According to wikipedia, "Spanish moss is colloquially known as 'air plant.'"

From what I have read, they feed off nutrients in the air.

Jacob Gorneau
Jacob Gorneau 10 years ago

Notice the open seed capsules located in your picture and that of the wikipedia link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_mos...

Leuba Ridgway
Leuba Ridgway 10 years ago


Luis, here's a picture similar to yours-there are others. I do think they are air plants

http://www.flickr.com/photos/earthworm/4...

Leuba Ridgway
Leuba Ridgway 10 years ago

Great spotting ! They look like airplants to me- but I might be wrong..

LuisStevens
Spotted by
LuisStevens

Mexico

Spotted on Mar 11, 2012
Submitted on Apr 14, 2012

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