Deep Dive: Tillandsia usneoides

February 16, 2022

Deep Dive: Tillandsia usneoides

To the best of my knowledge, Gorez Goz is a fictional Spanish pirate, but the poem I read in the video has become the legend of the Spanish moss. The only clue to the author of this poem are the initials T.S.T.

Spanish moss, which is neither Spanish nor moss, formally known as Tillandsia usneoides, is an epiphyte that grows on other trees. It is not a parasite and unless there is a ton of it hanging from a tree, it causes the tree no damage. And yes, the rumors are true, it is related to the pineapple.

As far as uses for this plant, it was mostly used for insulation, mattress padding and packing material. Also, Jeanine has been known to incorporate it into craft projects. Its uses as an herb are focused around its ability to reduce blood glucose as an adjunct to diabetes treatment. The evidence for this is sparse and Spanish moss should not be considered a viable treatment for diabetes. But if you are looking an inexpensive basket accent, this is your plant.




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