Syn.: Cupressepinnata disticha (L.) J. Nelson Cupressus disticha L., Schubertia disticha (L.) Mirb.
Family: Cupressaceae Bartl.; Taxodiaceae Warming
Taxodium distichum
Distribution: North American species found in south east of USA, from Delaware through Florida to Texas, northward along the Mississippi River to Illinois and Indiana.
Ecology: Wet areas, swamps, marshes, seasonally inundated soils, along streams and bayous but will strive in drier areas as well. Primarily lowland species, but in Texas up to 530 m asl. Shedding pollen in March and April.
Taxodium distichum
Description: Deciduous, coniferous tree, monoecious, trunk enlarged basally and usually conspicuously buttressed, 25–40 m tall, crown monopodial and conical when young, often irregularly flattopped or irregularly branched that main axis cannot be determined when old. The roots produce vertical growth (knees) which usually reaches above water, during spring inundation (possibly facilitating root access to air). Bark is greyish brown to red brown, vertically fissured. Shoot system conspicuously dimorphic, linear to lanceolate leaves, up to 2.5 cm long, 1 mm wide, leaves and short shoots shed in autumn, long shoots shed during stressful periods (cladoptosis). Male catkins are about 2 mm in diameter, borne in slender, purplish, drooping clusters 7–25 cm long, persisting and conspicuous during winter prior to pollination. Female globose conelets grow singly or in clusters, turning from green to brown on maturity, 13–36 mm in diameter, consist of 9–15 4-sided scales. Each scale bears 2 irregular, triangular seeds with thick warty coat and projecting flanges. Number of seeds ranges from 2–34. Heavy crop of seeds occurs every three to five years.
Use: Wood of this species is well known for its ability to resist decay. For this reason, Bald Cypress wood has long been favoured in construction, fences, planking of boats, river pilings, furniture, cabinetry, rafters, generally house framing, greenhouses, etc.
Note: The name Bald Cypress reflects the appearance of the tree during winter without leaves.
Taxodium distichum
Taxodium distichum
Taxodium distichum
Taxodium distichum
Taxodium distichum
These images were taken in USA, southern Louisiana (by Karel Bergmann: May 2014), and Czechia, Prague, Stromovka (by Gabriela Leugnerová: October 2006).