Facts About Cypress Knees

The other day I was hiking in a FL swamp. I was snapping a few shots of some cool looking Cypress Knees and I started to wonder. Just what is a Cypress Knee?  

So I looked into it. I was shocked to find out that no one really knows. there are a few educated guesses as to what people think they are.

Theory one is that they help the tree get oxygen, these trees live in mostly stagnant water that is oxygen poor. The thought is that the Knee sticks up above the water level to allow it to let the root system breath. so it is like a snorkel I guess.

Theory two is that they help the tree support itself in the swampy soil. I guess that makes sense also, the knees do catch a lot of debris and always seem to have branches weeds mud and stuff stuck in them. I can see that helping the tree keep its roots in the ground.     

Here in the south this is a very common sight. I really enjoy the look and feel of a cypress swamp, the rusty reds and dark browns Highlighted by shades of bright green. The still air, and high humidity make for some great fog in the early morning hours and that thick canopy gives a soft box effect for photography all day.   

In your travels if you come across a cypress swamp, go in and have a look take some amazing photos. But remember to be safe because a lot of animals call this place home!