Best East Texas State Parks

The Flora of the Piney Woods

Did you know? Spanish moss is neither a moss nor a lichen.

By Roxanna Asgarian April 28, 2016 Published in the May 2016 issue of Houstonia Magazine

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Loblolly Pine

The most common pine tree in East Texas, the loblolly is most often found in low-lying swampy areas and grows to over 100 feet. Its smaller cousin, the shortleaf pine, is found in drier areas.

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Bald Cypress

Caddo Lake, on the border of Louisiana, is home to one of the largest cypress forests in the world. Its knobby “knees,” which branch off the root system and grow above water, are thought to stabilize the trees in the swampy ground.

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Spanish Moss

Neither a moss nor a lichen, this is actually a flowering plant that prefers to grow on live oaks and cedar trees, which provide it with high levels of nutrients.

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So common are these hardwood trees in the Pineywoods that Palestine hosts an annual celebration when their signature white flowers bloom, in late March and early April.

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Also called purple poppy mallow, the white, pink or purple flowers bloom
March through June.

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American Beautyberry

These berries turn a bright magenta color when they’re ripe and ready to eat in late summer and fall. The bushes grow three to five feet.

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