Eastover Swamps

Right behind one of Jac kson’s poshest neighborhoods is a natural treasure:  an ancient cypress swamp.  The word “swamp” isn’t usually associated with a neighborhood (especially Eastover!) but this one is remarkably close to the city.

This place is literally crawling with life, including, but not limited to alligators.  While cypress swamps aren’t really rare in the state, a feature that makes this one unique is the sheer size of the “knees” that poke up through the forest floor around the trees.  If the water isn’t too high, you can walk amongst cypress knees as tall as 5ft!

Seeing these got me curious about the biological purpose of the cypress knee.  Apparently, scientists can’t really agree on what the purpose is.  Some think that they are able to make the most of oxygen-depleted swamp water, while another theory is that they help provide more structure in soggy soil.  There is also the possibility that they have some vestigial purpose, lost to evolution over eons, kinda like an appendix.  I think they just keep kids from building ropeswings in the trees.


About hiltopa

pioneer of unknown Jackson
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