Friday, March 20, 2009

Spanish Moss Is a Cruel Joke

As everyone knows, one of the closest relatives of Spanish moss is the pineapple plant*. Spanish moss is actually not a moss, but a variety of bromeliad with flowers and aerial roots. My tennis team played a match in Savannah this week and the Spanish moss in the park that hosted the match was so thick with the dangling beard-like clumps that the moss had even begun growing on the chain link fence surrounding the courts. Seeing so much of it, especially in such an unusual place, I got to thinking about how it's a little unfair that tropical islands like Hawaii get a bromeliad that grows an awesome fruit and we Southerners get a bromeliad that grows chiggers.

*Actually, I just learned this little factoid in January, so I don't actually expect everyone else to know this. It just sounded funnier that way.


Julie said...

I think Hawaii gets more rain. Maybe that's why they get an edible fruit.

Courtney said...

You mean you didn't know that before January? DUMBASS!!!

I kid. I had no idea.

See you guys tonight?

A Free Man said...

I actually did know that, but then I was trained as a botanist.

Now come on, let's have some respect for the Deep South's own bromeliad. I miss that stuff so much that I illegally imported some to England as 'packing material' and nearly got it into Australia. Damn Australian quarantine fascists.

Jacob said...

I learned that little factoid in a state park in one of Georgia's most southern parks two days into the new year and have seen or heard that tidbit at least three times since. I'm not sure if the Spanish moss growers association is making a push to change the plant's image or what.

And I also didn't realize that you have to worry about redbugs in Spanish moss only when it's lying on the ground. I've been avoiding it needlessly when it's still in the trees.

And Australia and New Zealand are crazy strict about their plant and animal quarantines. I applaud them for it, but they were treating air passengers like terrorists LONG before the US was and they were just worried about natural disease and pests, not bombs and box cutters.

Jacob said...

And that commitment to guarding against invasive species and diseases is one of the reasons that New Zealand does organics so well.

Mickey said...

Chiggers suck.