Bald Cypress


BaldCypress2.jpg

 

Common Name
Bald Cypress
Category
Trees,shrubs, Vines
ScientificName
Taxodium distichum
Kingdom
Plantae
Phylum
Coniferophyta
Class
Pinopsida
Order
Pinales
Family
Taxodiaceae
Genus
Taxodium
Species
distichum
SubSpecies
 

 

Description
Deciduous conifer tree; sometimes develops projections of the roots, called knees, that extend above the water when growing in standing water; foliage is feathery and not dense enough to provide much shade; leaves 0.25 – 0.75 in. (0.64 – 1.91 cm) long; seed-bearing cones are spherical and about 1 in. (2.54 cm) in diameter
Size
125 ft. (38.1 m) tall
Ecological Role
The bald cypress is a producer, transforming the sun’s energy into food energy. The knees allow for gas exchange by the roots, provide support for the massive tree in very wet conditions, and improve water quality. These knees are excellent cover for many kinds of fish, including smallmouth and largemouth bass. Lizards, crayfish, insects, and many small invertebrates live in the above-water parts of the tree. Songbirds, wild turkey, wood ducks, cranes, and squirrels eat seeds of the bald cypress. The canopy provides nesting sites for the bald eagle, osprey, herons, and egrets, while warblers nest in old knees. Catfish spawn beneath or in submerged hollow logs.
Fun Facts
The bald cypress is a member of an ancient family of trees that includes the redwoods and sequoias of the western states. Millions of years ago, members of this family were widespread; now, however, most of them are extinct.
Food
 
Cover
 
Nest
 
Breeding
 
Eggs
 
Habitat
Deep swamp forests
Kentucky Distribution
Grows naturally only along the Mississippi River, lower Ohio River, Green River, and their tributaries
Life Cycle
 
Life Span
 
Life Stage
 
Reproduction
Seed; dispersal is by flood waters
Seasonal Changes
 
Spawning
 
Status
Frequent in its natural habitat
Uses
The bald cypress is a beautiful, stately, landscaping tree. It is great for planting in wet areas, but will grow upland if planted there. Seedlings must establish during a dry period since they cannot tolerate being submerged. The wood is lightweight, rot resistant, and not easily warped, making the bald cypress a good lumber tree.
Voice
 
Young
 
What We Can Do
 
Host
 
Diagnosis and Control
 
Interesting Facts
 
Contributed By
Tom Barnes, Ph.D., Dept. of Forestry, University of Kentucky
Website
http://www.nicholas.duke.edu/wetland/cypress.htm