Taxodium distichum - Bald cypress
Two or three species of Taxodium
are native to North America. Some scientists
separate the pond cypress and bald cypress while others lump them together. Bald
cypress is a huge conifer of the southeastern United States. It is deciduous in
winter, an unusual trait for a conifer. This has been a very important timber
in the U.S.,
primarily due to its rot resistance. As a result, few old bald cypress remain
in the wild. This is a tree of wet areas, tolerating seasonal flooding. The
“knees” of bald cypress are growths from the roots into the air. Scientists
still debate their function but it is possible that the knees assist with gas
exchange for roots in soggy soils.
See this plant along the pond north of the library and along the nature trails at Lake Oneida.
Large tree capable of growing to over one hundred feet tall.
Light: full sun to part shade
Water: moderately drought tolerant once established
Soil: average soil, wide pH tolerance, no special requirements
This native tree is easy to grow in north Florida. It tolerates soggy soils and
periodic flooding. In the garden, it has moderate drought tolerance.