Botanical Name: Taxodium distichum var. imbricarium
Common Name: Pond Cypress
Origin: Southeastern USA
Notable Feature: Found on the peripheries of ponds and lakes, hence the common name. Like Bald Cypresses (Taxodium distichum), Pond Cypresses growing in water have a characteristic growth trait called “cypress knees”.
Habit: This deciduous conifer is a long-lived tree and reaches 50 to 60 feet tall and around 15 to 20 feet wide. The trunk is expanded at the base assisting the tree in anchoring itself in soft, muddy soil.
Flower: Monoecious: male and female flowers occur separately on the same tree. Males are in 3 to 5-inch long hanging panicles and females are small and rounded structures with circular scales near the branch tips. Emerge in spring.
Fruit: Cones are quite small and composed of rounded scales forming a woody, sphere, ½ to 1” in diameter. Purple when young and ripen to brown.
Foliage: The small needle-like leaves are linear or awl-like and 3/8” long. Needles are appressed (held close to the twig), green to yellow-green and turn orange-brown in fall before dropping off.
Interesting Fact: The wood is extremely rot resistant and has many uses. Bald cypress swamps are some of the world's most productive ecosystems.