Growing Gardens 2/29/12
University of Florida IFAS
Alachua County Extension Office
Office Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Address: 2800 NE 39th Avenue, Gainesville, FL 32609-2658
Telephone: 352-955-2402 (Voice)
TDD: 352/955-2406 (Hearing Impaired)
Wendy Wilber, Environmental Horticulture Agent
Spanish Moss, Ball Moss, and Lichen:
Spanish Moss: Spanish moss, sometimes called Grandfather's Graybeard or Florida Moss, is soft, graceful, eerie and beautiful all at the same time. A romantic symbol of the South, it is greenish silver after a rain, and grayish-silver at other times. Spanish moss can grow strands up to 20 feet long especially on Live Oak and Cypress tree branches. As an epiphyte, an air plant that lives upon other plants, it absorbs nutrients and water from the air and rainfall.
Ball Moss: Like Spanish moss, ball moss merely uses the oak tree as a host plant and takes no nutritional value from it. Light to moderate ball moss growth on the live oak causes no real problems for the tree. When ball moss begins to invade the tree's canopy, control becomes necessary. Before establishing a control method, check adjacent trees for signs of ball moss growth, as the epiphytes often spread from tree to tree.
Lichen: Oak trees featuring mossy growths on their bark most often are hosting lichens, rather than a true moss. Unlike Spanish moss or ball moss, lichens are composed of fungi and algae that grow together. Algae feed on sunlight and carbon dioxide, while fungi forms around the algae to prevent it from drying out. Lichen commonly are found on the trunks and limbs of declining oaks, where they form grayish-green scablike growths.
- Celebrations 2/29/12
- 12/5/12 Growing Gardens: Poinsettias
- 11/21/12 Growing Gardens: Camellias
- 11/7/12 Growing Gardens: Winter Annuals
- 10/24/12 Growing Gardens: Ornamental Grass
- 10/10/12 Growing Gardens: Mums
- 9/19/12 Growing Gardens: Winter Vegetables
- 8/22/12 Growing Gardens: Grapes
- 8/8/12 Growing Gardens
- 7/25/12 Growing Gardens: Caladiums