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Taxodium distichum (bald cypress)

Bald cypress is an iconic tree that epitomizes the southeastern USA for residents and visitors alike.
Taxodium distichum (bald cypress) at Kew Gardens

Taxodium distichum (bald cypress) at Kew Gardens

Species information

Scientific name: 

Taxodium distichum (L.) Rich.

Common name: 

bald cypress, swamp cypress

Conservation status: 

Least concern according to IUCN Red List criteria.


Lowland river flood plains and swamps.

Key Uses: 

Construction, fencing, cooperage, ornamental.

Known hazards: 

None known.


Genus: Taxodium

About this species

Bald cypress is a dominant tree in lowland river flood plains and swamps where it can form extensive forests of nearly pure stands. These habitats flood frequently, and this species develops characteristic ‘knees’ (pneumatophores) extending upwards from its submerged roots. In the southern USA its branches are commonly hung with the ‘air plant’ Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides). The genus Taxodium was widespread in America and Europe before the Ice Ages but then became extinct in Europe.


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State of the World’s Plants Symposium

Photo of forest surrounded by mist

In conjunction with the launch of a ground-breaking new report, scientists and policymakers will gather at Kew to take stock of the world’s plant diversity, associated research and trends.