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Ball Moss

Tillandsia recurvata


Small epiphyte commonly found clinging to limbs of liveoaks and other trees in southwest Texas. Ball moss is not a moss, but a true plant withflowers and seeds. It is a member of the bromeliad family, which also contains Spanish moss and pineapple


Live Oak tree in wooded area of Miller Springs Park.


Epiphytes are plants that attach themselves to limbs, tree trunks, power lines, fences, and many other structures with pseudo-roots. These are not true roots. They do not absorb water and minerals; they merely attach the plant to an aerial structure. Since epiphytes do not take nutrients and water from these aerial structures, they are not parasites; therefore, ball moss is not a parasite. IBall moss prefers an environment with low sunlight intensity and high humidity. The interior canopy of trees (especially live oaks) provides an ideal environment for ball moss. Interior limbs die from a lack of sunlight; then the ball moss plants colonize these branches.

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Spotted by

Texas, USA

Spotted on Jul 1, 2013
Submitted on Jul 10, 2013

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