Plants in the Greenhouse - Tillandsia usneoides
Although currently valued mostly for its beauty T. usneoides has a history of great importance. It was used by many Native American tribes, such as the Seminole, for many functions including wrapping for fire arrows, clay pottery, canoe reinforcement, and even diaper padding.During the 1930s T. usneoides was in great commercial demand. In fact, in 1937 nearly 20 million pounds were used as a stuffing material for mattresses, car seats, and furniture. Tillandsia usneoides fell out of favor as a padding material and was replaced by various plastic products after World War II; but during its reign collecting T. usneoides was an important source of income for many Southern families, particularly during hard economic times. Although T. usneoides may have fallen out of favor with humans, it is still a valuable food resource for many animals and is home to a large diversity of organisms, including several bat and bird species.
 Immel, Diani. “Spanish Moss.” USDA NRCS. http://plants.usda.gov/plantguide/pdf/cs_tius.pdf
 Martin, Robert. “Hair from Trees.” Popular Science June 1937: 32-33.