This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Bald cypress

Because the bald cypress is one of the conifers that loses its leaves or needles during the winter, winter is a good time to find it.

This is a tree that I associate with the swamps of the deep south, but it grows just fine this far north. There are a couple of specimens at Saint Joseph's College. The one west of the grotto area is pictured below. There is a smaller one in front of the Science Building, but do not confuse it with the dawn redwood that is close by. The bald cypress is along the entry drive.
There is an even better specimen a bit south of the old Schumacher factory along Melville. It has an impressive bulge at its base. (On the other side of the entrance is a sycamore with a very similar size and shape--an odd coincidence.) The picture here was taken after the ice storm in December.
If you live on the west side town, there is one at Monroe and Clark. Driving through Illinois in December, I noticed quite a few bald cypress trees. There is a large planting of them on the east edge of Gilman, by a park.

The cone of the bald cypress is round and distinctively different from what you normally find on pines or spruce trees.
Although it is a conifer, it loses its needles in winter, so it would not make a good Christmas tree.


Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

Before the land was settled, Illinois, Indiana, and Missouri had many acres of cypress swamps, perhaps not as famous as those of the southeastOnline Plant Nursery