Tennessee Smart Yards Native Plants

A comprehensive database of Tennessee native plants

Bald Cypress, Baldcypress

Bald Cypress, Baldcypress

Taxodium distichum

Full to part sun; wet to medium moisture level; best growth on deep, fine, sandy loams but also grows in muck, clay or fine sand; acidic pH.

50-70 feet height by 20-30 feet spread; very inconspicuous flowers in late winter to early spring; fruit is a globular, purple-brown cone, 1 inch long and 1 – 1 ¼ inch wide, in fall.

Growth Rate   Medium

Maintenance: No serious disease or insect problems

Propagation: Moderately easy from seed. Soil saturated for 1-3 months after seedfall is required for germination.

Native Region: Common in Coastal Plain Province

A stately conifer tree in the same family as the Redwoods and having soft, ferny foliage and a distinctive columnar to pyramidal shape. Tree is deciduous and goes bald in winter, hence the common name, and then grows a new crop of needles each spring. When in leaf, it has a wonderful, soft, green texture. Needles are feathery, yellowish-green and turn an attractive orange, cinnamon-brown before falling in autumn. Native to swamps, streambanks, and other riparian areas. One of few of our trees that can thrive in standing water. In standing water, develops “knees,” cone-shaped outgrowths of the roots that form in shallow water and rise above the high water mark. Grows well away from water in drier upland sites if soil is reasonably moist but does not develop the knees. Poor drainage is fine but does not tolerate drought. Easy to grow and long-lived. Cultivars available, including dwarf trees such as ‘Peve Minaret’.

Seeds eaten by turkey, wood ducks, grosbeaks, squirrels, waterfowl and wading birds. Nesting site for birds. Larval food for Baldcypress Spinx moth.

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