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Pond Cypress Taxodium ascendens (Taxodium distichum var. imbricarium, Taxodium distichum var. nutans)


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Pond Cypress, showing cones and needles
credit: Daderot

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Family: Cupressaceae, Cypress view all from this family

Description Deciduous conifer. Crown narrow, conical. Branches spreading and upright . Bark pale gray color to brown. Foliage brilliant green changing to brownish orange in fall. Leaves short, needles 3-10 mm. long. Shoots tend to be erect not spreading. Cones small, not over 2.5 cm. diameter.

Dimensions Height: 30 m. (to 100 ft.)
Diameter: 2–3 m., rarely to 5 m. (10 ft.).

Habitat Swamps (fresh & salt), Beaches & shorelines, Watersides (fresh).

Range Texas, Mid-Atlantic, Great Lakes, Plains, Southeast, Florida.

Discussion Like Bald Cypresses, Pond Cypresses growing in water have a characteristic growth trait called cypress knees; these are woody projections sent above the water from the roots. Pond Cypress is less likely than baldcypress to have knees, and when it does have them, they are shorter and more rounded. Its fluted base tends to have rounded rather than sharp ridges and its bark
is usually more coarsely ridged. Branches more ascending thanvthose of baldcypress. Seedlings and fast-growing shoots of pondcypress, however, much like the typical variety of baldcypress. Despite the usual differences in the two varieties, it is sometimes very difficult to distinguish them.