University of Florida

Spanish Moss

Spanish moss is a trademark of the South. And this tangled-looking, gray or green bromeliad droops from oaks, fences, and telephone lines throughout Florida.

Contrary to popular belief, Spanish moss is not a parasite. It's actually an epiphyte, meaning it gets all of its nutrients from the air and rainwater. Spanish moss does not need to be removed from your trees. It actually has an important role in Florida's ecology.

Many animals use Spanish moss for protection, taking cover in the thick masses. Insects love to hide out in the moss, too. Spanish moss is also a significant component of the nests of several species of birds, including the parula warbler and the Baltimore oriole.

So be a good host and let your Spanish moss hang out in your yard.

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