Helpful Spanish Moss — 17 Comments

  1. Oh my, I remember the stuffing in old furniture and seats. If one had a tear, and was sat on, I got the point. Literally. My grandparents had sofas and chairs that used the Spanish Moss as stuffing and some of upholstery had tears and cracks. I know one old ladderback chair had a handmade, stuffed leather seat and the leather was so old it had become very thin and hard. It cracked and I did not like being placed in it. OUCH!

  2. I recall, we use to gather moss and sell to a man that came and bought it. We had a team and wagon and used long cane poles to gather the moss. I don’t think we got much money for it because we never had much. But I can tell you that we had a really good happy life. Loved your post. Bill

    • Bill, thanks for sharing your memories. I could sit and listen to your stories for hours. And while I’ve never gathered like you did, I can certainly appreciate the hard work and the fact that you remember a good, happy life!

  3. When I was a kid, we used to visit my great-aunt Fannie in Baton Rouge. She lived out on Harrell’s Ferry Road on the east side of town. They had a pretty good piece of land. I remember pecan trees, and lemon trees, and a tire swing. They had a sleeping porch where we kids liked to stay, and I remember having mattresses stuffed with moss. I don’t remember any bugs, either. I think I’ve heard (did you tell me?) that as long as you get moss that hasn’t had contact with the ground, it’s ok to use.

    Also, in Breaux Bridge, the old City Hotel has a section cut out of the wall in the front room so you can see the bousillage. I used to have a photo of it, but it seems to have disappeared. Either that or I just filed it under a name I can’t remember. I found the rest of the photos, but not that one.

    • Another GREAT memory, Linda! I didn’t tell you that about the moss not coming in contact with the ground, but it does make sense to me! I don’t have an original of bousillage or I would have posted it within the piece for y’all. The original publication of this article only used the dolls photo, but I like to use all I can for our blog family of readers!

      • There are a few videos on U-Tube that show usage of bousillage and homes/buildings that use it. Also one of them shows the gathering of the moss for use. I watched one that was very interesting.

  4. As a little girl, I can remember seeing people harvest moss with long poles. Most people would hang it to dry over fences in their yards. I also remember it getting scarce in areas around Pierre Part. I guess it was over harvested. It took a long time to make a come back.
    I’ve seen yards where people have hung some in Magnolias and pine trees to get it to grow. It’s just not natural to me. It belongs in Live Oaks and Cypress trees.

    • You’re right, Steph, it just doesn’t look right hanging on those other trees! On my tour route into the swamp, though, some swamp maples have grown up within the anchoring system of the cypress, and because they dwell so closely together, the maples now have moss on them all the time. I’ve come to accept that!

  5. I love this article and I love Spanish moss. This was very interesting and I learned a lot of facts about the moss that I had never heard.

    • So glad you enjoy the piece and that you learned something new! That’s my goal with articles like this one! To educate folks and to increase an awareness of and appreciation for the beauty of what we stand to lose down here is coastal restoration isn’t done soon enough.

  6. I tried to get some moss to grow on my swamp maple. Didn’t take. Loved the story of the dolls. How cute are they, huh?

  7. As a young child (1940’s) I helped pulled moss from my grandmothers (Lutie V. Wright) oak trees in her yard. This was in Plant City, Fl. on Washington St. now known as Terrace Dr. On the east end of the road down by Shiloh Cemetery was a place that we called “The Moss Factory” My brother and I would help her pull the moss with long cane poles that had a wire hook on the end. After what seemed like forever we would have a pickup truck full that was carried down the road to The Moss Factory and made into a mattress. For all our effort we were paid a penny a pound.

    • Oh Ferris, I LOVE hearing this family history. This is much the same ways the elders tell me it was gathered here many years ago. I wonder, though, if they washed it first and then let it dry out and turn black before they used it for mattress stuffing? Thank you so much for taking the time to share your story with us. I’m sure I’m not the only one reading here who enjoyed this! Please, stop by any time and share your stories! BW

  8. Yeah! The moss looks beautiful! definitely, when the summer is on the edge, I also starting forward to the perfect place to start the summer or definitely in between of summer a trip is necessary!

  9. It can invoke a spooky, romantic or just purely mysterious response when you see Spanish mouth suspended from trees. Surprisingly, this rare plant is related to pineapple as they are classed in the Bromeliaceae plant family as bromeliad. Despite the relationship, Spain’s moose is an aerial acrobat, while pineapple is on the ground. The Spanish moose has many growth , environmental and gardening advantages because of its characteristics.

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