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Spanish Moss

Not Spanish, nor a moss. It is also not a parasite, as is commonly believed. It is a perennial 'epiphyte', a type of plant which derives its moisture and nutrients from the air, the sun, and the surface of the tree or host on which it is anchored.  It is among the species of bromeliads. The moss poses no threat to the tree, other than possibly becoming so saturated with rain-water, it may break weak or dead branches.  It can actually grow up to 25 feet long, if conditions are right and it is left undisturbed.

As for its name, there are many versions of how it came to be called Spanish Moss. Early French settlers called it Spanish Beard . . . so in turn, the Spanish called it French Wig.  The Indians' name for it could be translated to 'Long Hair'. There is also a very old legend as to how it came to be.

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