Saturday, January 31, 2015


You can't go anywhere in Florida without seeing these things attaching themselves, like barnacles, to everything in sight. They're Tillandsia, which is a genus of approximately 540 species of rootless evergreen, perennial flowering plants in the family Bromeliaceae.

They were originally native to the Central and South America, but of course, sooner or later all things eventually find their way to Interzone, take root, and thrive in the sunshine. Though colloquially called "oxygen plants" and "air plants" because of a general belief they survive on mere oxygen, they actually absorb water and nutrients from the air and from surfaces to which they attach, not the oxygen itself. Like all green plants, they give off oxygen, not feed on it.

So-called "Spanish Moss", also ubiquitous in Florida, is a species of Tillandsia as well.

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