Taxodium distichum var. distichum
Northern Bald Cypress
A very large conifer to 50 m (165 ft.) tall, with a buttressed trunk that can reach 5 m (16 ft.)in diameter. While young trees have a conical crown, older ones develop a broad, flat one. The deciduous, short, needlelike leaves turn an attractive orange brown in fall. The Bald Cypress is found at low elevations in swamps and along watercourses from Florida north to Delaware, Maryland, Illinois and Indiana and west to Oklahoma and Texas. These conifers--with tall, buttressed trunks rising out of gloomy, black, swampy water and crowns draped with long strands of Spanish moss--are one of the characteristic images associated with the deep south of the United States. Natural stands have been under much logging pressure in the past for their extremely rot resistant wood. In cultivation it is the perfect tree for the edge of a pond, lake or stream. It does well in most temperate climates from USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 5 to 9. Seeds should be soaked for 5 minutes in alcohol (ethanol) before sowing and cold stratified for 2-3 months after planting.