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Translation Tuesday: Spanish Moss

April 29, 2014

Spanish Moss. I was obsessed with this stuff as a kid. Every time we drove down to the low country for vacation I wanted to load up a bag of this stuff and take it back to Ohio with me. I thought they were fairy wings (I was six)! My Dad kindly talked me out of each time.

I snapped this while jogging through Palmetto Dunes in Hilton Head last week. Love Spanish Moss!

I snapped this while jogging through Palmetto Dunes in Hilton Head last week. Love Spanish Moss!

 

Spanish Moss is a plant that grows in trees throughout the coastal low country (where there is heavy humidity), usually in Oaks. It was a good thing my Dad would never let me take it home.. snakes, spiders and other bugs have a tendency to live in it… and birds use it to make nests. Back in the day it use to be used to stuff mattress. Legend goes that this is where the saying “Don’t let the bed bugs bite” comes from. Because bugs lived in the moss and then they were stuffed into mattresses! Granted, I don’t why they call it Spanish. For some reason when I was a kid I had it in my head that it was because the Spanish Conquistadors had beards… and the moss looked like long beards. But as I think about it, that seems silly. Anyone know why it is called this?

 

Regardless… if you come down South and see this stuff hanging from the trees, you now know what it is! And don’t take it home!

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