Nongame and Rare Species Program: Rare Plant Communities of Texas
Edwards Plateau: Baldcypress-American Sycamore Riparian Forest
Global Rank: G3
Description: Gallery forests of Taxodium distichum line most major perennial or nearly perennial streams rising in the eastern two-thirds of the Edwards Plateau. Large individuals of Taxodium distichum may attain 30 meters in height and three meters in diameter. Platanus occidentalis is the second most important species. There is usually no significant midstory but Fraxinus texensis, Salix nigra, Celtis laevigata var. laevigata, C. laevigata var. reticulate, Cephalanthus occidentalis, Amorpha fruticosa, and (at the eastern edge of the Edwards Plateau) Sabal minor may occur as small trees or tall shrubs. The ground layer is highly disturbed by flooding and may have small areas of standing water in streambeds or gravel deposits. This community typically occurs as a narrow strip within floodplains or steep-sided canyons on alluvial soils which are periodically inundated during flood events. Woodlands dominated by Quercus spp. and Juniperus ashei usually occur on adjacent slopes, though this community may also adjoin grasslands.