Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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

Suitability of Monterrey oaks for small space in San Antonio
April 23, 2009 - I am purchasing a home and the existing owners have planted three Monterrey oaks in the back. It is a small yard and the trees are no more than 15 feet from the house.The trees back up to a fence that...
view the full question and answer

Disagreement with HOA on raised beds placed beneath mature oak from Tequesta FL
April 05, 2014 - I have mature 30 year old oak trees on my property and I put a raised bed under each with very good soil and I used pavers for retaining the soil about about 1.5 ft high. I planted a perennial begonia...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting a blue spruce from Pingee Grove IL
August 30, 2012 - Transplant 18" Blue spruce from 5 gal. bucket to ground.
view the full question and answer

Plants native to Central New Jersey
September 28, 2008 - What trees are native to Central New Jersey? Also, can you give me a website or information on plant life and tree life in Central New Jersey?
view the full question and answer

Will lilacs survive in Houston?
October 26, 2009 - My wife loves the smell of Lilacs (we're originally from Oregon), but we don't see any here in Houston. Is it possible to get lilacs to survive in Southeast Texas?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.