Taxodium distichum

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Bald Cypress


Plant Specifics

Size:50 - 75 ft tall by 30-45 ft wide
Life Span:Long-lived perennial
Flower Color:NA
Fruit Color:Brown
Phenology:Deciduous. Very long-lived possibly exceeding 1000 yrs (Nelson 2003).
Noted for:Fall color, Interesting foliage, Hurricane wind resistance


Recommended Uses:Can be used as a specimen tree, planted in floodplain areas, or planted in relatively moist uplands. Large rain gardens and bioswales. Tolerant of root disturbance, so a candidate for use as a street/parking lot tree.
Considerations:Can produce knees, even if grown in uplands.
Propagation:Can be grown from seed. Requires moist but not inundated sites for germination and early growth. Requires flooding for seed dispersal.
Availability:Native nurseries, FNPS plant sales, Quality nurseries, Seed, Specialty providers
Light: Full Sun,  Part Shade
Moisture Tolerance:
always floodedextremely dry
 (Stays Wet ----- to ----- Somewhat moist, no flooding)
Moisture Tolerance: Stays Wet ----- to ----- Somewhat moist, no flooding
Salt Water Flooding Tolerance:Not salt tolerant of inundation by salty or brackish water.
Salt Spray/ Salty Soil Tolerance:Low/no tolerance of salty wind or direct salt spray
Soil or other substrate:Pond, lake, or stream bottom, Clay, Loam, Organic material (muck), Sand
Soil pH:Acidic to neutral



Attracts seed-eating birds. Valuable as roosting and nesting areas for colonial wading birds. 


Larval host for baldcypress sphinx (Isoparce cupressi) moth.

Native Habitats:Riverine swamps, large swamps around lakes. Inundated areas associated with some form of flowing water. Floodplains, sloughs, strands. May be associated with a longer fire return interval than T. ascendens.

Distribution and Planting Zones

Natural Range in Florida
USDA Zones

Suitable to grow in:
10A 10B 8A 8B 9A 9B 

USDA zones are based on minimum winter temperatures


Ethnobotany:Old trees were exceeding valuable as a source of wood that was rot resistant. Younger trees with little heartwood do not share this characteristic.
General Comments:Younger specimens have a conical shape, but older trees tend to flatten out at the top. In some areas, the strangler fig (Ficus aurea)has strangled many mature bald cypress trees--The Corkscrew Swamp is an example of this.