Bald Cypress

Cluster of bald cypress trees in Trap Pond State Park
Attribution: Kej605 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons
Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bald_Cypress.JPG

Latin (group) name: Taxodium
Latin (specific) name: Taxodium distichum
Average max height: 150'
Average diameter: 3' to 5'
Associated state: none
Category: American Woods
The Softwoods - Conifers

The Tree

The Baldcypress is a well balanced and attractive, long lived tree which may grow to large size. It is one of the deciduous conifers. It grows on wet stream banks and low land as well as in swamps and attains its largest size in the south. The trunks of Baldcypress found in swamps are usually massive, straight, broadly buttressed and tapering, giving the appearance of being formed by many, heavy roots combined to form the base of the trunk. Surrounding the trunk and protruding from the water are cone-shaped knobs or “knees” ranging from a few inches to several feet in height. These are exceptionally attractive when the bark is removed and the wood properly finished. They are usually hollow and in the opinion of some scientists they furnish air to the roots. These trees may tower as high as 150 feet with trunks from three to five feet in diameter. The bark is a silvery cinnamon-red and gives the tree an attractive appearance in the forest. The foliage is feathery and of light green color, and the limbs of trees in the far south are usually covered with drooping Spanish moss.

bald cypress cones
Bald Cypress Cones
bald cypress foliage
Bald Cypress Foliage
bald cypress tree bark
Bald Cypress tree bark

bald cypress grove
Bald Cypress grove

Common Names in Use

  • Baldcypress (Del, N.C., S.C., Ala., La., Fla., Tex., Ark., Mo., Ill., Ind., and trade)
  • Black Cypress (N.C., S.C., Ala., Tex., and trade)
  • Buck Cypress (N. C.)
  • Common Baldcypress (inland type)
  • Cow Cypress (N.C.)
  • Cypress(Del., N.C., Tenn., S.C., Miss., Ky., Mo., Ill., trade)
  • Deciduous Cypress (Del., Ill., Tex.)
  • Gulf Cypress (trade) ||Baldcypress (Del, N.C., S.C., Ala., La., Fla., Tex., Ark., Mo., Ill., Ind., and trade)
  • Gulf Coast Red Cypress (trade)
  • Gulf Red Cypress (trade)
  • Louisiana Red Cypress (trade)
  • Red Cypress (Ga., Miss., La., Tex., trade-coast type)
  • River Cypress (lit.)
  • Southern Cypress (Ala. and trade)
  • Swamp Cypress (La.)
  • Tidewater Cypress (trade)
  • White Cypress (N.C., S.C., Fla., Miss., trade-inland type)
  • Yellow Cypress (trade)

Growth Range

The natural growth range of Baldcypress extends along the Atlantic coastal plain from Delaware to Florida and westward through the Gulf states region almost to the Mexican border in Texas and northward in the Mississippi Valley through Oklahoma and Arkansas to southern Indiana and Illinois. It usually occurs in wet low bottom lands and river swamps.

The Wood

The narrow sap wood of Baldcypress is a pale, yellowish white gradually merging into the heartwood ranging in color from light-yellowish-brown to dark brown, reddish-brown or chocolate, the color varying with the locality and habitat. The Baldcypress grown in southern swamps is of much darker color than that grown on dry land a little further north. Some Baldcypress wood is found with light streaks through a dark background, providing an attractive pattern or figure. It is rather heavy, medium hard, strong, close straight-grained, non-porous, resinous, and does not impart taste, odor or color to food products. Baldcypress wood has a greasy feeling when rubbed. It holds paint especially well and is easily worked with all types of tools.

bald cypress tree rings
Bald Cypress tree rings


Baldcypress wood is especially desirable for all types of building construction where endurance and stability are essential. It is used in manufacturing caskets, sash and doors, general millwork, interior trim and paneling, tanks, boats and refrigerators. A special grade of Baldcypress is recognized as “pecky” or “peggy” fiber caused by a parasitic fungus. This lumber is used mainly for crating purposes. Considerable quantities of Baldcypress are used in the manufacture of trunks, valises, wooden-ware and other novelties. Because of its resistance to decay it is a very desirable wood for drainboards, silos, coffins, and greenhouse construction. Baldcypress shingles are especially important, excelling in durability all other American woods used for this purpose.

Files References

  ID T Name Source Actions
282 Taxodium Distichum (Linnaeus) Richard
Cluster of bald cypress trees in Trap Pond State Park
Attribution: Kej605 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons
Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bald_Cypress.JPG
283 Bald Cypress Foliage
Picture of some leaves on a Bald Cypress
Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bald_Cypress_Leaves_2264px.jpg
Attribution: Photo by and (c)2006 Derek Ramsey (Ram-Man) [GFDL 1.2 (http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/fdl-1.2.html) or CC BY-SA 2.5 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], from Wikimedia Commons
284 Bald Cypress Tree Bark
Photo taken at the Tyler Arboretum, https://www.tylerarboretum.org/
Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bald_Cypress_Taxodium_distichum_Bark_Vertical.JPG
Attribution: Photo by and (c)2016 Derek Ramsey (Ram-Man) [GFDL 1.2 (http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/fdl-1.2.html) or CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons
285 Bald Cypress Cones
Cones of Bald Cypress tree
Reference: File:Baldcypress Cone.Jpg - Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Baldcypress_cone.jpg. Accessed 28 Dec. 2018.
286 Bald Cypress Tree Rings
Taxodium distichum (Linnaeus, 1753) - bald cypress, possibly from North Carolina, USA. (public display, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, Rayleigh, North Carolina, USA)
Reference: John, James St. Tree Rings in Taxodium Distichum Wood (Bald Cypress) 4. 8 Nov. 2012. Flickr, https://www.flickr.com/photos/jsjgeology/24518375307/.
287 Bald Cypress Grove
A grove of Bald Cypress, location unknown
Reference: Baldcypress: King of the Swamp • Arbor Day Blog. https://arbordayblog.org/treeoftheweek/baldcypress-king-swamp/. Accessed 28 Dec. 2018.
311 Bald Cypress Range Map
Flora distribution map Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum) tree.
Attribution: By USGS - USGS, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10513337
Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Baldcypress_range.jpg


  • Shelley E. Schoonover (American Woods) 1951 (Watling & Co. ) Santa Monica, CA 

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Page last modified on Tuesday December 13, 2022 04:06:12 PST by admin.