Conifer Trees

Bald Cypress Bald Cypress
Taxodium distichum
Southern Bald Cypress


Large, needle-leaf, aquatic, deciduous tree often with cone-shaped "knees" projecting from submerged roots, with trunks enlarged at base and spreading into ridges or buttresses, and with a crown of widely spreading branches, flattened at top.
Height: 100-120' (30-37 m) or more.
Diameter: 3-5' (0.9-1.5 m) , rarely 10' (3 m) or more.
Needles: deciduous; 3/8-3/4" (10-19 mm) long. Borne singly in 2 rows on slender green twigs, crowded and featherlike; flat, soft, and flexible. Dull light green above, whitish beneath; turning brown and shedding with twig in fall.
Bark: brown or gray; with long fibrous or scaly ridges, peeling off in strips.
Cones: 3/4-1" (2-2.5 cm) in diameter; round; gray; 1-2 at end of twig; several flattened, 4-angled, hard cone-scales shed at maturity in autumn; 2 brown, 3-angled seeds nearly 1/4" (6 mm) long, under cone-scale. Tiny pollen cones in narrow drooping cluster 4" (10 cm) long.


Very wet, swampy soils of riverbanks and floodplain lakes that are sometimes submerged; often in pure stands.


S. Delaware to S. Florida, west to S. Texas and north to SE. Oklahoma and SW. Indiana. Below 500' (152 m); locally in Texas to 1700' (518 m).

Bald Cypress


Called the "wood eternal" because of the heartwood's resistance to decay, Bald Cypress is used for heavy construction, including docks, warehouses, boats, bridges, as well as general millwork and interior trim. The trees are planted as ornamentals northward in colder climates and in drier soils. Easily seen in Big Cypress National Preserve near Naples, Florida. Pond Cypress (var. nutans(Ait.) Sweet), a variety with shorter scalelike leaves, is found in shallow ponds and poorly drained areas from southeastern Virginia to southeastern Louisiana below 100' (30 m).