Coastal Bald Cypress Slough

The Cypress Slough is a remnant of a freshwater Bald Cypress swamp that funneled abundant freshwater from the Everglades to the mangrove forests of Biscayne Bay. The surviving old-growth Bald Cypress trees anchor an environment that sustains native Cocoplums, Pond Apples and various rare ferns. The slough was the first area of the Gardens to be cultivated and opened to the public in 1936. Sheltering conditions in the slough protect the many tropical display plants that have been added to the site. The shaded tree canopy and flowing water also provide an important haven for several crustacean and fish species that spend part of their lifecycles at sea.

Coastal Bald Cypress Slough

The initial interest by Franz and Louise Scherr in developing a public display garden was sparked by the beauty of a vanishing remnant of natural Florida, a Coastal Bald Cypress Slough. The Gardens’ surviving old-growth Bald Cypresses (Taxodium distichum) began growing long before the modern era, when large-scale drainage projects permanently changed the South Florida landscape. The oldest individuals might pre-date even the Spanish colonial period.

Coastal sloughs arose in locations that channeled the abundant freshwater of the Everglades to the fringing mangrove estuaries along Biscayne Bay. Most were destroyed when their life-giving waters were diverted; valuable Bald Cypress trees were logged for their rot-resistant wood. The magnificent trees survive at Pinecrest Gardens as a living landscape legacy.

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