Taxodium distichum, Bald Cypress

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

Found along wet stream banks, swamps, and river bottoms, Bald Cypress* has a root system, which often produces irregular structures called “knees” that rise above the ground or water’s surface. The tree is referred to as “bald” since it is deciduous, losing its foliage in the winter.

Print Version: Taxodium distichum, Bald CypressMGNVorg Taxodium distichum

Learn more about other Mid-Atlantic plants: Tried and True Plant Fact Sheets


Tags: Long-lived, deciduous conifer with pyramidal to conical shape and a trunk that tapers into a broad, fluted base, Soft, needle-like yellow-green leaves arranged like feathers Brown, tassel-like flowers in March and April Spherical, leathery, green cones, ripen to brown from October to December and shatter into irregular seeds, Foliage turns orange, cinnamon, copper in fall Fissured red-brown-gray bark with stringy texture, It is often planted outside of its native range, which is along the southeastern and Gulf coasts and the lower Mississippi River up to IL. In the Mid-Atlantic Region, it is not native to DC and is rare in the DE Coastal Plain and in PA. It is native to the southern portions of MD. In VA, it is locally common along the Coastal Plain and rare in the outer southern Piedmont. It is not native to NoVA. Soil Requirements: Acidic Trees that don’t like water! Light Requirements: Sun, Partial Shade, Water Requirements: Moist, Wet *It is often planted outside of its native range, which is along the southeastern and Gulf coasts and the lower Mississippi River up to IL. In the Mid-Atlantic Region, it is not native to DC and is rare in the DE Coastal Plain and in PA. It is native to the southern portions of MD. In VA, it is locally common along the Coastal Plain and rare in the outer southern Piedmont. It is not native to NoVA. Use as ornamental lawn tree for large landscapes
or in wet areas or in rain gardens (> 150 sq. feet) Hardiness: USDA Zones 4-9, Tolerates clay soil, wet soil, heat, strong winds, and air pollution, No serious pests or diseases; deer rarely-toseldom severely damage, Provides food for waterfowl and squirrels and nesting sites for Yellow-Throated Warbler, Bald Eagle, Pileated Woodpecker, Osprey, and herons