Friday, February 22, 2013

Endings and Beginnings

I was out walking the dogs when I spotted this little branch that had fallen from our old oak tree:

The grey-green hairy-looking thing is a tillandsia, a type of bromeliad also known as an air plant. Air plants attach themselves to trees and other surfaces and grow without the benefit of soil. They generally don't harm the trees they inhabit, either, but evidently this one had grown too large and heavy for the spindly twig to support it.

I grew up around air plants and I've seen this happen lots of times, but on closer examination I spotted something I'd never noticed before -- a fluffy sprout that looks like seed pod:

Now I wonder, did the plant know it was doomed?


nightsmusic said...

I always wondered where they came from, cuttings or seeds. I feel bad for the plant though. Is it not transplantable? But, life goes on.

Lynn Viehl said...

I think they have to come from airborn seeds because they lodge everywhere, even in some of the most inaccessible places on our property.

I thought about transplanting it to another tree but on closer examination I found it frost-bitten (death to most bromeliads), so it couldn't have survived. I did add it to our wood compost pile so it will be returned to the earth when spring finally shows up and stays.