University of Maryland Extension


Text by Ginny Williams Photo by Dr. Dave Clement
fall coloration bald cypress

Taxodium distichum (fall color)

If you have a sunny, damp area, lots of space and want a strong focal point, baldcypress could be the plant for you.  This unusual native looks like a lofty needled evergreen in summer, but drops its foliage in the fall, giving it the name “bald”.  Foliage is soft and flowing--yellow-green in spring, sage in summer, changing to russet in fall.  In winter its stately trunk has coppery peeling bark.  An adaptable tree, it withstands dry and city conditions and can be used as a street tree.  Planted in water, knobby “knees” grow from the ground around the trunk to provide more oxygen.  Growing about 2.5 feet a year to a mature height of 50-75 feet, not only is it long lived, but it is a low maintenance native.

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