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Bald cypress
Taxodium distichum

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

General Landscape Uses: Accent or specimen tree in wet soils.

Availability: Widely cultivated.

Description: Medium to large tree with an erect, straight trunk. Bark silvery to reddish, flaking in stips. Needles deciduous, thin, light green, almost always featherlike and held away from the twig.

Dimensions: Typically 30-100 feet in height in South Florida; to 118 feet in Florida. Taller than broad.

Growth Rate: Moderate.

Range: Eastern and central United States west to Texas and south to Miami-Dade County and the Monroe County mainland. For a digitized image of Elbert Little's Florida range map, visit the Exploring Florida website. This map also contains the range of T. ascendens.

Plant Map Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

 Map of suggested ZIP codes from South Florida north to southern Brevard, Osceola, Polk, and Pasco counties.

 Map of ZIP codes with habitat recommendations from the Monroe County Keys north to Martin and Charlotte counties.

Habitats: Freshwater swamps.

Soils: Wet to moist, poorly-drained to moderately well-drained organic soils.

Nutritional Requirements: Moderate to high; grows best with some organic content and may languish in nutrient poor soils.

Salt Water Tolerance: Low; does not tolerate flooding by salt or brackish water.

Salt Wind Tolerance: Low; salt wind may burn the leaves.

Drought Tolerance: Low; requires moist to wet soils and is intolerant of long periods of drought.

Light Requirements: Full sun to light shade.

Flower Color: Green turning brown.

Flower Characteristics: Cone.

Flowering Season: Spring.

Fruit: Cone.

Wildlife and Ecology: Provides some food and moderate amounts of cover for wildlife.

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from seed soaked in water for 24-48 hours.

References: Nelson 2003; Schaefer & Tanner 1997

Comments: See a 2018 post on the Treasure Coast Natives blog on the galls created by the Cypress Twig Gall Midge on Bald Cypress.

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Other data on Taxodium distichum available from:

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