En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - June 26, 2008

From: Rosharon, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Identification of possible Bald cypress
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I live in the Houston area, last year we traveled to South Padre Island and,on the way, I noticed a tree that was just beautiful. It looked like a cross between a Norfolk pine and some kind of cycads. It grew very tall and straight up. The branches were straight out and the dark green leaf resembled the cycads. I am stumped; I see them in Houston now, but no one I ask knows the name.

ANSWER:

This sounds like Taxodium distichum (bald cypress), a native of Texas. Although the cypress is considered a water tree, bald cypress adapts to dry landscapes, providing shade, shelter for birds and is very attractive. It is called "bald" because it is deciduous, dropping its leaves in the Fall, as very few other conifers do. If this is not the tree you have been seeing, perhaps you could provide us with a photograph and we will try to identify it. Go to the Ask Mr. Smarty Plants page and find the directions for sending us photos in the lower right hand area of the page under "Plant Identification."


Taxodium distichum

Taxodium distichum

Taxodium distichum

Taxodium distichum

 

 

More Trees Questions

Nuttall oak to replace ornamental pears in Houston, TX?
February 08, 2011 - We recently bought a house in the heart of Houston that has 2 huge flaming pear trees that were planted too close to the house and just engulf the house. Our landscaper suggested taking them out and ...
view the full question and answer

Repairing Previous Silver Maple Pruning Damage
May 09, 2015 - I cut a limb off my silver maple wrong and now the trunk is developing a hole. What is the best treatment?
view the full question and answer

Mountain Laurel and Desert Willow in pots or ground in Brady, TX
May 09, 2006 - I would really appreciate your advice if a Texas Mountain Laurel (now a 1 gal. size) and a Desert Willow (now a 3 gal.) are good candidates for planting in containers and, if so, what size for each? ...
view the full question and answer

Need information about planting Red Maples in Houston, TX.
September 22, 2012 - I want to plant some Drummond Red Maples in my front yard. What cultivars would you recommend, and what is the absolute smallest amount of space possible between two of these trees?
view the full question and answer

Removing Persimmon plants from the base of Live oaks
October 15, 2015 - I live in Bastrop county and have hundreds of Texas wild persimmons at the base of my huge oak trees. Should I cut some of them? I am worried they are taking up water my oaks need. I like them but do...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center