Saturday, September 3, 2016


The first thing many visitors from out-of-state notice in St. Tammany Parish is the moss draped over many oak tree limbs. In fact, movie location scouts often seek out places where the Spanish moss is just dripping off the oak trees as an "immediate" scene clue that the movie is actually being filmed in Louisiana. 

Click on the images below to make them larger. 

Spanish moss, which is not really a moss (it's a member of the bromeliad family) has had its ups and downs in the area. It takes its moisture from the rain and its nutrients from the air, so it's not a parasite to the tree as believed by some. It was once called "the air plant" and is believed to be a bioindicator of problems in air quality.

For commercial purposes, it has been used as insulation, mattress and upholstery stuffing, mulch and even in evaporative coolers, the forerunners of air conditioners. 

I remember a movie being made near Madisonville where the director called for more "moss" on the trees in the background, so truckloads were brought in and the set decorators went to work hanging the moss. Nothing says "Deep South" like moss swaying in the breeze over your actors' heads. 

Here are some photos.

For more photos of moss, CLICK HERE.