Taxodium distichum Taxodiaceae
Baldcypress, Bald Cypress, Swamp Cyprees taks-O-di-um DIS-ti-kum
- Deciduous conifer, 50-70 ft (15-21 m) tall, 20-30 ft (6-9 m) wide, narrow, pyramidal when young. In swamps it developes a large flares at the base of the trunk, the so-called "cypress knees", which are derived from lateral roots. Leaves needle-like, alternate, 15-20 mm long, linear-lanceolate, 2-ranked, or scale-like and appressed, (the two forms may appear on the same branch or separate trees), soft, mid-vein prominent, yellowish-green above, whitened below, may turn a rich brown in autumn. Cones globular, 1.5-3.5 cm in diam. at ends of previous year's twigs.
- Sun, grows well on deep, fine, sandy loam, acid soil. Very
adaptable to wet, dry and well drained soil. The "cypress
knees" apparently only develop when grown in or near water for most of the year. Used in bonsai.
- Hardy to USDA Zone 4 Native from Delaware to Florida, west to Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, and Louisiana. Several selections available, including a dwarf Dutch selection named Peve Minaret.
- Taxodium ascendens, Pond Cypress, is similar, but smaller, has shorter needles, and is less cold-hardy than T. distichum, it is sometimes listed as T. distichum var. ascendens.
- Taxodium: resembles Taxus; distichum: in two ranks (the leaves).
- At the University of Oregon, in Eugene, trees along the Millrace near Franklin Boulevard have small "knees".
- Oregon State Univ. campus: south of Benton Hall.