• DID YOU KNOW? • About Spanish Moss

May 6, 2013

Did you know that Spanish Moss
ISN'T
a moss?


But is actually related to the 
PINEAPPLE
or should I say it is in the same family as the pineapple!

Can grow
25 feet long!

And DOES NOT
rob it's host of their nutrients.
It absorbs all life sustaining nutrients through the air.

The only time harm will come to a tree is if the moss becomes so thick that it blocks out the sunlight.

It can be found adorning trees from Coastal Virginia to Argentina.

The Native Americans called this plant
"tree hair".

In some areas it is referred to as
"Greybeard"

So, how did it get the name 'Spanish Moss'?

There are a few legends out there as to how it got this name.

One:
Early French explorers are said to have given it the name Spanish Moss as an insult to their rival Spanish explorers. It is also rumored that these Spanish explorers in turn called it "French Beard", as a returned insult.

Two:
"Gorez Goz was a bearded brute who bought a beautiful Indian maiden for a yard of braid and a mere bar of soap. The mere sight of the Spaniard so frightened the girl that she ran away from him. Gorez Goz chased right behind her, until at last he climbed up after her to the top of a tree. The maiden dove into the water and escaped, but Gorez Goz's beard got hopelessly entangled in the tree's branches. There he died, but we can still see his "greybeard" on trees throughout the Lowcountry -- as the Spanish moss out on the limbs."

The third legend, which has a little more romance to it and the one I think all will agree is the best;
Was recited to a young girl (Sherry Hicks) by her great-grandfather (Rufus Joseph Tillman from the gulf coast area of Alabama)

A Spanish soldier fell in love at first sight with an Indian chief's favorite daughter. Though the chieftain forbade the couple to see each other, the Spaniard was too lovestruck to stop meeting the maiden in secret. The father found them out and ordered his braves to tie the Spaniard high up in the top of an ancient oak tree. The Spaniard had only to disavow his love to be freed, but he steadfastly refused. Guards were posted to keep anyone -- the chief's daughter above all -- from giving food or water to the poor Spaniard.The Spaniard grew weaker and weaker, but he still would not renounce his love for the girl. Near the end, the Chief tried to persuade him once more to stay away from his daughter. The Spaniard answered that not only would he refuse to disavow his love, but that his love would continue to grow even after death. When at last the Spaniard died, the chief kept the body tied up in the tree as a warning to any other would-be suitors. Before long, the Indians began to notice that the Spaniard's beard continued to grow. The Indian maiden refused ever to take a husband -- unless the Spaniard's beard died and vanished from the tree. As the years went by, the beard only grew stronger and longer, covering trees far from the Indian maiden's village. Legend says that when the Spanish Moss is gone, the Spaniard's love will have finally died with it.

Did you also know that during the months of April - July "Spanish Moss" is adorned with tiny fragrant flowers?
and
They are edible?
I didn't!
and
Now you know!

Plus almost every area where 'Spanish Moss' is found has it's own legend as how it came to be.



 You may find me joining in the fun here . . . MONDAY: give me the goods monday TUESDAY: creatively tuesday , nifty thrifty tuesday , tuesday at our home , tuesday the scoop , WEDNESDAY: rock-n-share , whimsy wednesday THURSDAY: tutorials, tips and tidbits , open house party FRIDAY: frugal friday , freedom fridays

5 comments

  1. How neat! We went on a boat ride Sunday and the captain talked about the Spanish moss. I love your post my friend! Sweet hugs!

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  2. Tina, I've lived where there was lots of Spanish moss and loved it. I don't recall ever hearing that it was related to pineapple. Thanks for sharing that info.

    Helen

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  3. This is interesting! All I knew what that it's an airborne plant...and that I like it! Thanks for the info!

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  4. I didn't know that! But this is beautiful! http://hickorytrailblog.blogspot.com/2013/05/efforts-and-assets-linky-party-1.html

    Angela

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  5. We played with Spanish moss (monster hair) all the time when I was growing up in Orange Park, FL. Brings back fun memories! Thanks so much for sharing at the Rock N Share party. Hope to see you again this week! Blessings, D@TheShadyPorch

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