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Bald Cypress

Bald Cypress

Common Name: Bald Cypress

Botanical Name: Taxodium distichum

Bald Cypress

Plant family: Taxodiaceae

Location: Art Trail, East Terrace Switchback

Growing zone: 4-11

Height: 50-70 ft.

Spread: 20-25 ft.

Bloom time: March, April

Bloom description: Male and female flowers form slender tassel-like structures near the edge of the branchlets.

Leaf type: Leaves emerge late in spring and open up with a soft, green texture. The needles are arranged in a feather-like rank as they open up. They change to a rich brown color in fall and hold on to their fall color throughout winter.

Garden uses: Bald Cypress is generally restricted to very wet soils consisting of muck, clay, or fine sand where moisture is abundant and fairly permanent. It is usually found on flat or nearly flat topography at elevations less than 100 feet above sea level. To the surprise of some people, when the Bald Cypress is planted in the right soil in yards or along streets, it has been grown successfully in cities as far north as Milwaukee and on dry Texas hills.

Wildlife benefits: Seeds are eaten by wild turkey, wood ducks, evening grosbeak, squirrels, and waterfowl. Yellow-throated warblers forage in the Spanish moss often found hanging on the branches. Tops provide nesting sites for bald eagles, ospreys, herons, and egrets. Produces cone fruit; there are approximately 5,200 seeds per pound. The fruit is oval, one inch long, attractive to wildlife.