Monday, April 26, 2010
Taxodium distichum - Bald Cypress
Taxodium distichum: Taxodium, from Greek meaning “resembling a yew,” because the yew has a similar leaf shape; distichum, referring to its two-ranked needles.
Fine textured deciduous conifer, similar to Metasequoia glyptostroboides, but T. distichum tends to be somewhat shorter and leafs out later. T. distichum is much less common than M. glyptostroboides in the Bay Area landscape. Needles are pointed. Compare to M. glyptostroboides' rounded needles. Round golf ball-sized cones in fall. Found near New Orleans in swamps, where it puts up 'knees' (seen in the foreground), which provide oxygen to the roots. Reddish brown fibrous and shallowly fissured bark peeling in thin strips.