One of our favorite pastimes in Liberty County is to sit back and relax on the porch and take in the beautiful landscape that surrounds us. A beautiful addition to our landscape are those massive Live Oak trees dripping with Spanish moss.
Like a woman and her jewelry, the subtle gray moss is the perfect accessory to a southern oak tree. It has become an icon itself along with our sweet tea and accents, giving the viewer an instant frame of southern mind. The charming view of a tree lined path with moss peeking through is one we all know and love.
Photo by Waylon McKinnon
Spanish moss is often misunderstood though and many visitors are not familiar with it. It may grace many postcards but those outside the South don’t know much about it. Here are a few facts about the plant that you might not know!
- Spanish moss is actually a bromeliad, not a moss at all. By this classification, it’s in the same family as the pineapple rather than actual moss.
- It’s actually native to this region of the world even if its name suggests otherwise. A tropical swampland is the perfect habitat for moss.
- Many legends exist that explain how Spanish Moss received its name but surprisingly neither Spain or the Spanish people had anything to do with it. Native Americans called it itla-okla or tree hair, but it reminded the French soldiers of the long beards worn by the Spanish.
- It’s meant to be looked at, not touched! Teeny tiny red bugs live in the moss and will eat you alive it they get to you! It’s been said that you can nuke it in the microwave to kill the bugs, but we advise you to keep your distance. Better safe than sorry!
- The moss isn’t harmful to the tree, never growing roots or taking anything from the tree. Spanish moss thrives on rain or fog and any dust and debris in the water.
Photo by Bianca Croft
Liberty County has become a place to visit and live for many reasons and the fact that we are a Spanish moss covered Live Oak tree paradise should be one of those reasons! If the moss draped trees are something you enjoying taking in we invite you to come walk through the nature trails, ride the dirt roads and look out on the horizon. The moss blowing gently in the breeze adds a special beauty to our coastal landscape.
The Right Blend Blog is written by multiple different authors employed by the Liberty County Chamber/CVB. All content provided on The Right Blend blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site.