|Tillandsia recurvata subsp. var.||Ball moss|
Tillandsia recurvata, commonly known as Ball Moss, is a flowering plant (not a true moss) that grows upon larger host plants. It grows well in areas with low light, little airflow, and high humidity, which is commonly provided by southern shade trees, often the Southern Live Oak (Quercus virginiana). It is not a parasite like mistletoe, but an epiphyte like its relative Spanish moss. It derives only physical support and not nutrition from its host, photosynthesizing its own food, receiving water vapor from the air, and obtaining nitrogen from bacteria. Although Ball Moss can hinder tree growth by competing for sunlight and some nutrients, it usually does not affect healthy specimens. It tends to form a spheroid shape ranging in size from a golf ball to a soccer ball. Local spread of Ball Moss occurs by windblown seed. Ball Moss is sensitive to freezing, particularly when moist.
|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Tillandsia recurvata, Linn. (T. Bartramii, Ell., at least in part). A few inches high, tufted, with scurfy terete or filiform recurved 2-ranked lvs.: fls. 1-5 on spike that is sheathed at the base but naked above, the corolla blue and exceeding the calyx. Fla. to Argentina and Chile. CH
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- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963
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