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Taxodium distichum

Pronunciation: Taks-oh-dee-um dis-tik-um
Family: Taxodiaceae (bald-cypress family)
Common Name: Bald cypress, baldcypress, swamp cypress
Plant Type:
  • trees, shrubs
Height to: 130'
Width to: 10'
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • -10 to -20ºF ZONE 5
  • 0 to -10ºF ZONE 6
  • 10 to 0ºF ZONE 7
  • 20 to 10ºF ZONE 8
  • 30 to 20ºF ZONE 9
  • 40 to 30ºF ZONE 10
Sun Exposure:
  • part sun
  • full sun
Bloom Description: The young tree is pyramid shaped, but with age the top flattens and the crown may spread as much as 60 ft (18 m) or more. The lower trunk is often greatly enlarged and buttressed. The bark is reddish gray or brown with long fibrous ridges that peel off in strips. Unusual among coniferous needle bearing trees, bald-cypress is deciduous. The needles turn rusty brown, then almost red before dropping in late fall or early winter. Bald-cypresses, especially when growing in or near the water, produce tapered "knees" to 6 ft (2 m) high that stick up from the roots. The cones, maturing in late summer,
Soil Type: Bald-cypress likes an acidic soil and will develop yellowing of the leaves if grown in neutral or calcareous soils. Young trees grow rapidly, but they can live 500 years or more.
Plant Perks:
  • Fall Foliage
  • Drought Tolerant
Propagation: The seeds of bald-cypress germinate in moist soil, but not under water. If you see bald-cypress growing in standing water, you can be sure it was dry when the seed germinated.
Native to: Bald-cypress occurs naturally in swamps, flood plains and along the edges of lakes and rivers on the southeastern u. S. Coastal plain from southeastern delaware to southern texas and up the mississippi valley to southern illinois. It often occurs in pure stands: cypress swamps. Pond-cypress, on the other hand, usually occurs in smaller, flatwoods ponds and shallow lake margins in a more restricted area at low elevations, from southeastern virginia to southeastern louisiana.
Notes for Identification:

Source: floridatabald-cypress makes a fine specimen tree for very large landscapes. They are best suited to wet areas, lake margins, and the like, but as noted above, they will thrive in normal, even dry soils. The feathery pale green foliage is attractive in spring and summer, and again in fall when it turns reddish. A nice shade tree in summer, bald-cypress lets the sun shine through in winter.  the function of the cypress knees has been a source of much discussion. One theory is that they take in oxygen for the roots in what is generally a very low oxygen environment. Another is that they provide anchors for the tree in the flood plain environment that is characteristically loose and unstable. When lightning strikes a pine tree, it burns a strip along the trunk down to the ground and usually kills the tree. But when a bald-cypress is stuck by lightning, it usually explodes, sending giant splinters a hundred yards or more in all directions. But the tree doesn't die, instead it sprouts back from the damaged trunk!

USDA Heat Zones (days above 86ºF):
  • 14 to 30 days ZONE 4
  • 30 to 45 days ZONE 5
  • 45 to 60 days ZONE 6
  • 60 to 90 days ZONE 7
  • 90 to 120 days ZONE 8
  • 120 to 150 days ZONE 9
  • 150 to 180 days ZONE 10
Seed photo: 0
Seed Label: 1
Located in: Trees, Shrubs
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