The first time I spotted a Spanish moss flower it was on a computer screen. I had taken some pix of my Spanish moss plant and noted tiny green flecks on the screen image as I uploaded them to my Mac. I hadn't noticed them out in the garden while taking the photos. So I headed back outside and discovered the source of the green flecks: teensy little perfectly formed flowers in all their micro glory. That was back in October one year, so now every October Pammy and I are on the lookout for our smallest flower show to begin.
|This is the best way I could think of to show you how tiny the|
flowers are on Spanish moss. That lump of lumber in the
foreground is an ordinary matchstick. We're talking tiny
flowers here, folks.
Until then, I just wanted to show you a few more images of this fascinating plant, whose botanical name is Tillandsia usneoides. Its common names of Spanish moss and old man's beard paint the picture well. This is one of the so-called 'air plants' because it doesn't need soil to grow in. It just hangs from the boughs and branches of trees and gets all its nutrients from the air, the rain and general humidity. Presumably it also gets some of the nutrient-rich run-off from the trees which host its existence. And no, it's not a parasite plant. It just hitches a ride. We saw it everywhere we went as we travelled around the Southern USA back in 2011, and it's one of the special plants in our garden, pretty in its own right but also full of sweet memories.
|This photo above, and the one below, show the basic form|
of the tiny flowers.
|Out in the garden from this far away (about|
four feet) you'd never notice the blooms.
|There is a bloom in this photo, roughly|
in the centre of the shot. Can you see it?
|Surely you can see it now?|
|Once you spot an individual bloom it seems as pretty as any|
flower a hundred times larger, and the world of fine, grey
strands in which it lives is a magical addition to the scene.
Now, here's the details of Pam's exhibition: over to you, Pammy...
You can see this close-up watercolour painting of a Spanish moss flower along with 50 other artworks inspired by plants and the natural world featured in my upcoming solo exhibition: “Inspiration & Observation”.
The exhibition will run from 4 December 2013 to 8 January 2014 in the Eden Gardens Art Gallery at the Eden Gardens Garden Centre located at 301-307 Lane Cove Road, North Ryde: www.edengardens.com.au
Jamie and I will be attending the exhibition opening from 2-4pm on Sunday December 8, so come along to say hello and maybe pick up an original Christmas gift for a friend, family member or yourself!