In Mexico, it is known as Ahuehueta, meaning "old man of the water". This deciduous tree of wetlands has broad, spreading crown with strong, horizontal branches and delicate, weeping branchlets. The leaves are 0.24 to 0.48 inch (6-12 mm) long. The roots of trees growing in standing water often send up conical projections ("knees"). Before the leaves drop, they turn spectacular bright orange to rusty brown. Usually occurs on moist soils along streams, or on low, poorly drained sites. It is drought tolerant when established.