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Just What Is A Cypress Knee?

Updated on March 1, 2012

Cypress Knees

Odd swampland protrusions

If I had been asked, "Just what is a cypress knee?" before I moved to the South, I would have guessed it was an ailment most of the elderly had been acquainted with at one time or another, along with chest cold, pink eye, thrush mouth and chapped lips.

I suppose I first discovered them when I was around twenty years old and began squirrel hunting around the southern swamps with my new husband. At that time, I saw them simply as a nuisance and inconvenience as they would require us to carefully choose our steps to avoid a noisy and often painful stumble.

Through the years, I have become very acquainted with and appreciative of these odd swampland protrusions. They surround the adult trees, sometimes in large numbers and always of various shapes and sizes.

Though most agree that they are part of the root system of the bald cypress tree, their purpose is not fully understood. Many say they exist to aid in the transfer of oxygen and carbon dioxide. It is also likely that they play a big role in providing support for the parent tree.

They do not always grow in water as some suggest and when a few cypress knees are cut, the parent tree does not die, as suggested by some.

"What is a cypress knee?" Just another example of the amazing gifts this earth produces.


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    • kmaskreations profile image

      kmaskreations 6 years ago

      Thanks Michelemac. We never know what shapes we'll find when we harvest them.

    • michelemacwrites profile image

      Michele McCallister 6 years ago from USA

      Wow, what a beautiful bloom and how amazing its importance in the support of the mother tree !! Thanks for sharing this interesting hub !! Keep the hubs coming !! Voted up and beautiful !

    • michelemacwrites profile image

      Michele McCallister 6 years ago from USA

      Beautiful and interesting hub. What a pretty bloom and how amazing that they are believed to actually support the parent tree !! Thanks for sharing this information and keep hubbing my friend !! Voted up and interesting !!