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The Southern Class of Spanish Moss –

You’ve seen it in scenes from films like The Pocket book and Forest Gump, and it instantly lets that the movie’s setting is Southern.

Website of the well-known movie scene, “Run, Forest! Run!”

It’s an odd plant that completes my thoughts’s image of a lazy day within the South, hanging from the reside oak bushes in Savannah, Charleston, New Orleans, and plenty of different lovely southern cities.

It’s often called Spanish Moss.

The curly, wiry concoction grows primarily within the Southern US, Hawaii, South America, the Caribbean, and Mexico. Unable to outlive chilly climate, it makes its residence within the areas nearer to the equator.

Now get this, it isn’t a moss, and it’s not Spanish!

Historical past tells us that Native Individuals referred to as it “tree hair” (present translation). The French, making enjoyable of the Spaniards’ lengthy wiry beards, referred to it as “Spanish Beard.”  The Spanish settlers returned the insult by calling it “French Hair.”  By some means, the plant’s identify advanced, and at present we confer with it as “Spanish Moss.”

As seen in “The Pocket book”, Boone Corridor, in Mount Nice, SC

It’s within the bromeliad household associated to the pineapple. And though some say it’s edible, I must be awfully hungry to chow down on a Spanish moss sandwich. On second thought, having smelled the plant, I couldn’t get that hungry!

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Spanish Moss doesn’t harm the tree or plant it calls residence, not like parasitic crops. It gathers vitamins from humidity and even organisms present in airborne mud. Birds use it for nesting materials, and early settlers used it for medicinal functions.

When upholsters refinish vintage furnishings, they typically discover Spanish Moss tucked beneath the material overlaying. It was as soon as used as authentic stuffing for chairs, fainting couches, and mattresses. It was even woven into blankets. Earlier than the introduction of artificial supplies, Spanish moss was found to be sturdy and never inclined to moths.

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When cleaned and dried, Spanish moss is utilized by florists and incessantly offered as a crafting provide.

My analysis leads me to consider that voodoo dolls have been, and nonetheless are, full of this materials. I’m assuming, moderately than delving extra deeply on-line, that maybe the Spanish Moss makes stabbing the dolls with pins and miniature objects of torture simpler. I don’t need to know!

Spanish moss was imprinted on my mind at an early age. My household relocated to Savannah, GA, after I was a bit lady. We lived in an house in an 1800’s Victorian, ½ block from Forsyth Park. Subsequent to the gorgeous marble block patio was a big, brief palm tree. The tree had plenty of Spanish Moss hanging inside arm’s attain of a 6-year-old. My neighbor and a brand new buddy had simply moved to Savannah additionally, and we had by no means seen something prefer it. We spent hours making wigs, hats, and beards from the curly materials that first day.

Necessary discovery:  Spanish Moss is FULL of purple bugs, higher often called chiggers!

There are few issues extra lovely in my reminiscence financial institution than my first view of a reside oak tree or palm draped with Spanish Moss except it’s a terrific massive bottle of calamine lotion!


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