dawn redwood and bald cypress
Near the round stone bench, there are a few exotic conifers. They are the bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) and the dawn redwood (metasequoia glyptostroboidus). The bald cypress and the dawn redwood resemble each other. For a layman they are difficult to distinguish. They are both deciduous conifers and both are known as “living fossils.” We know through fossils in ancient rocks that they already existed in prehistoric times. The bald cypress occurs naturally in the South of the United States, where it grows in brackish and freshwater marshes. The bald cypress sometimes makes aerial roots in the vicinity of water. If you look closely, you will also see this on Tapijn. While the dawn redwood does not haver aerial roots.
Relationship with humans
Why we do what we do
Both cypresses are often planted in parks. The bald cypress was introduced as a park tree in Europe in the 17th century. After new worlds were discovered in the 15th and 16th centuries, a lively trade in exotic plants and trees emerged, that all found their way to Europe. There they were given a place in parks and large country estates of the well-to-do. These cypresses are still very popular as a park tree.
Before this, only the fossil remains of this tree were known. Until then it was assumed that this tree had died out millions of years ago.