Every species passes through various life stages, and each life stage may have different requirements in terms of climate, soil, topography or other abiotic factors. The phenological stage is one such critical life stage in the plant life cycle. In a new study published in AoB PLANTS, Barve et al. examined the availability of optimal ecophysiological parameters in 22 years of high temporal climate data during the flowering and fruiting stage of an epiphytic plant, Spanish moss, which has a hemisphere-wide distribution. They used herbarium specimens to establish the flowering period, and found that most populations experienced sub-optimal conditions in at least one environmental dimension and were constrained by minimum temperature during the flowering/fruiting stage.