Tower Grove Park is home to several colonies of these Missouri natives. This tree is most often found in lowlands and swamps but can tolerate the toughest urban conditions. As a “deciduous conifer” it resembles many of the characteristics of classic coniferous species such as pines and spruces, but loses its needles come Fall. Look around beneath the canopies and notice the “knees” surfacing from the earth. These are called pneumatophores and are theorized to provide structural support and the exchange of gases.