Taxodium - - Semi-mature and mature Taxodium distichum

02 9652 0300


Taxodium distichum - Swamp Cypress, Bald Cypress





Southern USA, common in wet swampy areas.

Plant Type:

Deciduous tree, conifer.


30 to 50m tall, width varies depending on the amount of sun.

Habit/ Form:

Conical aging to a rounded crown, will produce pneumatophores (breathing roots up to 600 mm tall and 300mm in diameter) in damp or saturated soil conditions.


Opposite, linear to 18mm long, flattened feather-like arrangement (pectinate) on short, alternate, deciduous branchlets, pale green turning reddish brown in autumn.


Male catkins in tassel-like bunches 150mm long, purplish in spring.


Globular 25mm cones, purplish aging to brown, scattered on the ends of the branchlets on the preceding years wood.

Bark / Trunk:

A tapering trunk with a broad base and buttress roots, with fibrous rich grey / brown bark.

Vigour / Longevity:

Very vigorous especially near water, long lived.

Environmental Requirements:

Sunny positions with wind protection the wood of this species is brittle, but the trees recover well.


Very tolerant of waterlogged and swampy soils, can tolerate short periods of drought if well established.

Soil / Drainage:

Very adaptable, does well on average, moist, well drained soils, prefers deep moist acidic soils. Can tolerate periodically wet soils and waterlogged soils.


Train to a single trunk, then only the usual maintenance pruning.


Best foliage and vigour on reliably moist soils, can tolerate short periods of drought if well established, best if watered in dry weather. Try to choose a planting site near permanent water.


Apply complete fertilisers in late winter till established.

Pests / Diseases:

Leaf burn in hot dry positions.


Shade tree, wind break, avenues, deciduous screen and as a water feature plant (on the bank or in the water).



© Text reproduced here with the kind permission of Tony Wilson and Barck Books.



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