Jan 3, 2012

Air plants seeking warm water refuge?

Everyone knows that cypress can withstand water ...

But did you know they are frost-friendly, too?

Water helps keep air plants warm on cold winter nights
(as seen in Big Cypress Nat'l Preserve)

As for the air plants hanging among them, that’s an iffier deal.

The farther you work counter clockwise around the Gulf Coast, and in particularly Texas, cypress swamps become notably devoid of bromeliads because of the deeper and more regular invasions of arctic air.


But it’s not just our cypress trees locale so far south …

That makes that makes them such ideal air plant hosts.

Texas tree trunks are bare because of the cold air
(as seen in Big Thicket Nat'l Preserve)

Equally important is the reliability of them being flooded all winter long.

That water may be cold to the touch but also (ever so slightly) warms the air above where the air plants reside.


Out in the swamp we call that a microclimate.

Tropical air plants depend on it to survive.

2 comments:

Ciss B said...

It almost seems as if those plants are climbing out of the water to escape the cold!

Robert Sobczak said...

That water does the trick, even if just by a few degrees (and batting back the wind) of keeping the tropical air plants safe.