Moss at Destrehan Plantation

Moss at Destrehan Plantation

Spanish moss, the gray substance hanging from many trees in St. Charles Parish, is not a fungus. It is an epiphyte, a plant that grows on other plants, but is not parasitic and lives off rainfall. Collecting moss was a thriving industry until the late 1950s as it was used to stuff mattresses, sofas, and early automobile seats. In a 1915 interview, Sam Dorsey described days filled with hard work for his siblings and him. They picked moss in the marshes and sold it for 3 cents per pound to the Landry moss gin in Paradis.