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National Park Mystery Plant 12: A Middle Sea Key

South view of Notre Dame. Photo by Zuffe via Wikimedia Commons.

Can you identify the mystery plant using just these clues?

In the Middle Sea it basks in the sun.
Sicily, Sardinia, and then this one.

Elegantly flying at Notre Dame, it serves a function that bears its name.

No locks to adorn, no need to be shorn.

Bonus clue (no extra charge): So the fibula says to the meniscus, "What's a nice cartilage like you doing in a joint like this?"

Be sure to check back with Traveler tomorrow for the answer, an explanation of the clues, and information about the mystery plant.


Bald cypress

Taxodium distichum

Is the national record specimen still in Congaree?

ps: the captcha was much harder than the quiz

Yes; it's bald cypress. Congratulations to Eric, who was first to supply the answer, and to tomp, who honored the point -- and once again complained (if only by implication) that these mystery plant puzzles are just too darn easy.

no, the complaint was that the captcha was too hard. Complaining that anything is too easy is asking karma to kick your backside, hard.

At one time the world record bald cypress was on the Weston lake loop trail; just south of the lake as I recall. [I have a nice photo of Becky Sharitz with a dbh tape on it.] Checking the cong website, their big trees brochure lists a bald cypress of 8.3' diameter (not counting buttresses, a serious challenge) and 127' tall as of July 2009, but doesn't flag it as a national champion tree. Therefore I suspect that the current national champion is over in Four Hole swamp.

I will be attending Congaree National Park ranger Fran Rametta's retirement party tomorrow evening, tomp. The Congaree staff will be there, so that should give me an excellent chance to inquire about the national champion bald cypress situation at Congaree.

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