What Is Spanish Moss?

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    • Long hanging masses of Spanish moss can reach lengths of around 20 feet. The plant produces curly, slender greenish-gray leaves as long as 2 inches.


    • The range of Spanish moss in the United States extends from Virginia to Texas, especially along the coastal plains. Spanish moss grows in Central and South America as well, according to the Floridata website.

    No Roots

    • No root system exists on Spanish moss, as the plant's leaves take whatever nutrients the specimen requires to grow and subsist out of the atmosphere. During prolonged dry spells, the plant will go into a dormant state until it rains again.

    Potential Problems

    • Spanish moss does not kill the tree on which it hangs but it can grow so thick that it prevents sunlight from reaching some of the host tree's leaves. Rain-soaked Spanish moss can cause weakened tree limbs to give way and break off.


    • Spanish moss makes a great mulching material and people in much of the Deep South use it for this purpose. At one time, Spanish moss was used for stuffing mattresses and furniture.

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