Tillandsia Usneoides

Tillandsia usneoides, commonly referred to as 'Spanish Moss' is a long, stringy air plant that grows in balls. It is often found hanging off branches of trees and makes for an attractive, natural display. This air plant grows long strands and can easily be divided. The thin leaves are a whitish-grey to green and it does produce flowers, however very small. The flowers are a yellowish-blue and last around four days, offering a pleasant frangance which attracts pollinators. Spanish Moss air plant is sold in small strands, of which contain multiple plants that can be divided as it grows.

Out of stock

SKU: AP007 Category:


Spanish Moss is a popular air plant scientifically labelled Tillandsia usneoides. This air plant grows in long strands and is often found dangling off the branches of trees. It is the most widespread of all the Bromeliaceae family. The entire surface of the shoot is covered with highly specialized trichomes (scales) which absorb water and nutrients from the atmosphere; they also reduce transpiration and reflect strong light.

Spanish moss was named such by French explorers. Native Americans told them the plant was called Itla-okla, which meant “tree hair.” The French were reminded of the Spanish conquistadors’ long beards, so they called it “Barbe Espagnol”, literally translated as “Spanish Beard”.

Spanish Moss prefers moist habitats and is often abundant near rivers, ponds and lakes. This plant can survive two months without rainfall but will die within three to four months of drought. In dark forest it hangs suspended from the higher limbs of trees (most commonly on trees that are dead). The air plant grows well on most trees, both wild and cultivated, and can do well hanging from a natural string or attached to a piece of driftwood or bark. It does not appear to favor any hosts. There are several varieties of Tillandsia usneoides, of which the most common is the grey-colored one. It is also thus sometimes referred to as ‘Old Man’s Beard’.

Spanish Moss is an easy to care for air plant and can be strung from a wire on the patio or coiled around an orchid or other pot plant. Remember, because it is an epiphytic plant, some of the strands of the plant are just there for structure and food, but are no longer alive. It is quite common for a large clump of this air plant to tangle around itself and grow into a dense ball. Spanish moss is propagated by fragmented pieces of plant called festoons.

Additional information

Dimensions 20 cm

Tillandsias // Air Plants

We have an extensive collection of Tillandsias. They are an incredible epiphyte that grows naturally in Central and South America. They are simply magical and do well as a standalone piece or displayed in a terrarium or mount. These are some of our favorites:

Please note we are temporarily closed. Apologies for the inconvenience. Dismiss