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Ball Moss

Tillandsia recurvata


Although this appears to be a parasitic plant it is not (see Notes). I am including pictures of two, one growing on a smaller branch and another attached directly to the trunk. I have also included a picture of the tree, although I have no idea what it is. The plants seem to form a ball about 15 centimeters across and are light green, almost blue-green in color.


These were found growing on a tree planted along a street in downtown Quito, Ecuador, elevation 2,850 meters, so while it may be a native Ecuadorian tree, it was planted there for decorative purposes. Ball Moss is found from Southern United States to Norther Chile & Argentina.


Post ID notes: Also called Mexican Air Plants and Pelo de Angel (Angel's hair), these plants, commonly called Ball "Moss" are not moss but in the Bromeliaceae family. It is not a parasitic plant but an epiphyte, an "air plant" that derives its needs from the air and not it's host plant. It has been seen thriving on power lines.

1 Species ID Suggestions

Brian38 3 years ago
Ball moss
Tillandsia recurvata Tillandsia recurvata - Wikipedia

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Tukup 3 years ago

Thanks Brian. You nailed it. I really appreciate it. Checking out your suggestion I've learned a lot of these type plants. Thanks again.

Tukup 3 years ago

Thanks Brian. On my way to the Dr. Will check it out when I return.

Spotted by

Quito, Pichincha, Ecuador

Spotted on Feb 18, 2019
Submitted on Feb 18, 2019

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