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.