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Name: Gerald
Status: other
Age: 30s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 3/22/2004


Question:
Hello: Can you tell me the difference between the moss that grows in trees that is gray in color like Spanish moss, and all of the green so called mosses that grow like a plant or in the ground as an algae. Are they the same? How are they both called moss? One is an air dweller and the others are on or in the ground. confused.


Replies:
"Spanish moss" is a common name for two organism both of which are not true mosses.

It is either the vascular plant species Tillandsia usneoides L. within the family Bromeliacae.

http://www.co.beaufort.sc.us/bftlib/spanish.htm

or a non-vascular lichen Ramalina menziesii

http://www.hastingsreserve.org/OakStory/LaceLichen2.html

Mosses (bryophytes) are non-vascular plants:

http://www.mobot.org/MOBOT/tropicos/most/

Anthony Brach, Ph.D


"Tillandsia usneoides is not a true moss and is unrelated to the plants of the class Musci (or Bryopsida), to which the genus Sphagnum (mosses that form peat) belongs. Spanish Moss and the pineapple (Ananas comosus) belong to division Magnoliophyta , class Liliopsida, order Bromeliales, and to the plant family Bromeliacae . "

This web site continues the description above in detail:

http://www.co.beaufort.sc.us/bftlib/spanish.htm

J. Elliott



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