This deciduous conifer in the family, Cupressaceae grows in marshy and seasonally inundated soils.
Bald Cypress are famous for their “knees”, woody conical projections that emerge from the soil.
The purpose of these knees is still not entirely known. Some speculate they help oxygenate the roots or provide stability in the often loose swampy soils this species prefers.
You can find many beautiful examples of this species along the Arboretum Creek exhibiting their gold and yellow fall colors.
2) Oxydendrum arboreum Sourwood
Native to eastern North America and the Appalachian Mountains, this species typically grows in rocky, acidic, and well-drained soil and are typically 20-25 feet tall with a slender trunk and grey bark.
In the fall, this species’ leaves turn a remarkable shade of crimson making it a sure highlight of the Arboretum Creek.
This cutting came from a collection of Sourwoods growing just south of the Wilcox footbridge on the west side of the creek.
3) Cornus sericea Red-Osier Dogwood
Native to wetlands in the midwest and northwest of North America, Red-Osier Dogwoods provide a beautiful year-round display of various colors.
Standing between six to ten feet tall and usually growing in thickets, Red-Osier Dogwoods get their name from the stark red color of their stems and branches in the late fall and winter months.
The berries you see on these cuttings grow in the late summer and early fall and are a bluish-white color. In the spring, numerous birds and butterflies are attracted to this plant for food and shelter.
A large thicket of this species can be found directly below the Wilcox footbridge north of the creek.