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of living Spanish moss after a normal rainfall. Increase that weight to 3600 lbs after a severe storm or hurricane. Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides) is an epiphytic flowering plant that often grows upon larger trees in tropical and subtropical climates, native to much of Mexico, Bermuda, the Bahamas, Central America, South America, the Southern United States, West Indies and is also naturalized in Queensland ().It is known as "grandpas beard" in French Polynesia. That’s right, contrary to popular belief Spanish moss does not kill trees, limbs or branches. Spanish moss was used for everyday items. Spanish moss does not kill trees… Example: A tree with 500 lbs of moss triples its weight to 1500 lbs. Spanish moss is actually native to Mexico, Central America, South America, the United States and the Caribbean where it can grow in a tropical environment. One additional factor is the willingness of the tree to be a happy host. Although Spanish moss grows on trees, it is not a parasite . So certain trees, such as camphor, release chemical substances that kill Spanish moss. Spanish moss can grow so profusely in a tree that it interferes with photosynthesis by blocking sunlight from reaching the leaves. It doesn't put down roots in the tree it grows on, nor does it take nutrients from it. Tiny seeds are blown by the wind until they land on a tree branch. Spanish moss doesn't kill trees. Ball Moss (Tillandsia recurvata) is gray-green and found on tree branches or telephone wires.It is often mistaken for a small clump of Spanish moss. It grows in clumps 6-10″ in diameter on most kinds of trees. It is commonly found on oak and cypress trees but can also grow on other plants. Here in the U.S. Spanish moss grows from Texas to Virginia generally staying in the moister areas of the south. 5. Spanish Moss Facts: One pound of Spanish Moss typically holds 3 additional pounds – or more – of rain water. 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