Saturday, December 22, 2007

why do they call it Spanish moss?

Spanish moss is not related to mosses or lichens. Instead, it is a flowering plant in the family Bromeliaceae (the bromeliads).

Native Americans called the plant "tree hair", which name the French explorers turned to "Barbe espagnole" -- "Spanish Beard" -- to taunt the Spanish who were their rivals in for North American territory. "Spanish Moss" is the part of the taunt that has survived.

In the park there is a fair amount of Spanish moss growing on the trees next to the river. I like the contrast of the crepe myrtle trunk pattern and the moss.

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