another atmospheric epiphyte


Ball moss (Tillandsia recurvata) is an atmospheric epiphyte that looks like balled-up Spanish moss. Both of these absolutely rootless perennial plants can be found fastened to power lines, rocks, fences, and, of course, other plants. Ball moss can be found throughout the upland areas of Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area, including in the scrubby pine flatwoods of south Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area where its growth in dry sunny places is less lush …


Ball moss does not seem suited to the more coastal reaches were the breezes are saltier. Studies have shown that ball moss (and Spanish moss, too) ‘sequester’ heavy metals and pesticide residues from the air in their tissues and have recommended their use for a ‘pollutional inventory of some regions within the subtropics and dry tropics possible with relatively low analytical and financial effort’. You will find these potential air pollution ‘monitors’ for sale as easy-to-grow greenhouse plants from a variety of on-line sources.


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