Ball Moss is a flowering plant (not a moss at all!) that has been given a bad rap by many people in Central Texas. We have customers frequently ask how to “kill” the moss in their trees, as they believe it is harmful to the tree. Well, I’m going to give you the real scoop on this often misunderstood plant.
It’s not hard to believe that the native Ball Moss is related to our popular “Air Plants”, which are sold as house plants. Both belong to the Genus Tillandsia. They are classified as Epiphytes, plants which use trees, electric wires, fence posts, or other objects as support while neither taking nor giving anything to the tree or structure it is growing on. Ball Moss photosynthesizes its own food in its leaves, absorbing water and nitrogen from the air. It does not root into the tree, but does produce “holdfasts” which serve to attach the plant to the tree or structure. Ecologically, the Ball Moss provides habitat for insects and is beneficial to the birds and other small animals which feed on the insects. To read the entire story, visit the BackBoneNursery website article.