Tillandsia recurvata

Common Name:  Ball Moss, Bunch Moss

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habit--Tillandsia recurvata is an epiphyte (it is not a parasite--Tillandsia receives nothing from the tree except a place to live) habit again--Tillandsia can eventually cover a branch thickly!

single shoot--the fruit is near the top, supported by a long peduncle (what is that?).  The leaves are below that, and occur mostly in two ranks on opposite sides of the stem (but the leaf arrangement is alternate).  The way the leaves tend to curl back (in other words, they are recurved) is where the epithet recurvata is derived. leaf--what is the leaf shape here?

scales--the leaves and stems of Tillandsia recurvata are covered with fine scales.  These scales help the leaves to absorb water when they are wet (i.e. when it rains), and this is how the plant gets its water.  Otherwise, the leaves are able to retain water for weeks on end in between rains and are thus able to survive the arid, hot central Texas summers. fruits--these fruits are capsules.  Along how many lines of dehiscence do these capsules split open?  Is this a dicot or a monocot?

fruits closeup--the seeds that developed inside these fruits are gone; they have long hairs attached to them, which helps them disperse in the wind. opening fruit - can you see the individual seeds?