Tillandsia recurvata is native to the southern US, where it stretches from Florida all the way to Arizona, and as far south as Argentina and Chile. It grows epiphytically on trees, bushes, and cacti or as a pterophyte on rocky cliffs at altitudes ranging from 0 to just over 3000 meters. It is a small sized caulescent with fine stem and sometimes slightly branched, fast growing, which can quickly form dense tufts and has numerous, supple, distichous leaves. The sheaths are thin, oval, glabrous at the base (sometimes with a ciliated margin), nested, surrounding the stem. The limbs are cylindrical, more or less long and curved depending on the origin of the plant. This air plant bloom from the simple inflorescence, with a small spike arranged at the end of a thin and scaly peduncle, with very few flowers (sometimes only one). The bracts of the flowering stem are green, scaly, linear. The floral bracts are similar to the bracts of the flowering stem but smaller and slightly ribbed. The flowers are sessile, tiny (3 mm wide), non-tubular, mauve or purple, sometimes pinkish. The stamens and pistil are included. Ball moss is variable and widely distributed, it can easily be confused with other Tillandsia species, such as Tillandsia capillaris, Tillandsia crocata, and Tillandsia mallemontii, which are found in similar habitats but which have different flower characteristics.