The Long Moss

An excerpt from William Bartram’s Travels, Part II, Chapter III:

Cypress Trees and Spanish Moss
Curtains of Spanish Moss on Cypress; Okefenokee Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia. March 5, 2017. © Please don’t steal my images. Download and use legally from

“The long moss, so called, is a singular and surprising vegetable production: it grows from the limbs and twigs of all trees in these southern regions, from N. lat. 35 down as far as 28, and I believe every where within the tropics. Wherever it fixes itself, on a limb, or branch, it spreads into short and intricate divarications; it encreases, by sending downwards and obliquely, on all sides, long pendant branches, which divide and subdivide themselves ad infinitum.

​”It is common to find the spaces, betwixt the limbs of large trees, almost occupied by this plant; it also hangs waving in the wind, like streamers, from the lower limbs, to the length of fifteen or twenty feet, and of bulk and weight, more than several men together could carry; and in some places, cart loads of it are lying on the ground, torn off, by the violence of the wind. It seems particularly adapted to the purpose of stuffing mattrasses, chairs, saddles, collars, &c. and for these purposes, nothing yet known equals it.”

William Bartram was a botantist, artist, and nature writer that explored the southeastern United States around the time of the American Revolution (1773-1776). He was a scientist, creationist and Christian that gave glory to the Author for all the wonderful works he observed and documented in his book, Travels Through North and South Carolina, Georgia, East and West Florida. 


  1. Gorgeous photo, entertaining excerpt. Love this post, William! ❤ Did you hear the story of the early Ford cars whose seats had been upholstered using Spanish moss? It seems the moss was infested with chiggers! Talk about sitting in the hot seat! I believe the cars were recalled. 🙂 Have a great day!

    Liked by 1 person

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