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Common Name:

Common Baldcypress

Scientific Name:

Taxodium distichum var. distichum

Family Name:



Common Baldcypress is a widely planted shade and street tree in Texas. This deciduous conifer has soft layered branchlets with needle-like leaflets that turn from dark green to bronze or rich brown in autumn. Common Baldcypress is native to swamps and can tolerate standing water or rather dry sites once established. The famous "knees" are produced in wet areas or when planted near water features. This beautiful tree develops a narrow pyramidal crown in youth that becomes classically flat-topped and windsweep with age. The fluted trunk becomes highly butressed in old age; very durable and valuable timber; very long lived, to 1000 years plus?

Plant Habit or Use:

Tree, medium tree, large tree



Flower Color:

Females inconspicuous, males in yellow-brown catkins in late winter or early spring, mildly interesting

Blooming Period:

Spring, winter

Fruit Characteristics:

Globose resinous cones, green truning brown


50 ft to 70 ft in landscapes, to 100 ft in the wild


25 ft to 40 ft

Earth–Kind® Index:

  • Heat Tolerance: High Heat Tolerance
  • Water Requirements: Low Water Use
  • Soil Requirements: Low Soil Requirements
  • Pest Tolerance: High Pest Resistance
  • Fertility Requirements: Low Fertility Requirements
Explanation of the Earth–Kind® Index breakdown

Firewise Index

Explanation of the Firewise Index numerical value

USDA Hardiness Zones:

5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Region A - Panhandle and High Plains Region B - North and Central Texas Region C - Northeast and East Texas Region D - West Texas Region E - Upper Rio Grande Region F - Hill Country and Central Coast Region G - Southeast Texas Region H - Rio Grande Valley
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones

Additional Comments:

Drought tolerant, but tends to drop foliage; likewise very tolerant of salt in the root zone, but relatively intolerant of salt on the foliage; prone to chlorosis on high pH soils; often listed as slow growing, but is actually a rapid grower if fertility is good and water is available; can grow in standing water, but best growth is on rich moist well drained soils.
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A Special Note about Cool Season Annuals

Cool season annuals typically are planted in the fall or early winter and flower in early spring under moderate temperatures. This group of plant materials includes: pansies, snapdragons, violas, dianthus, flowering cabbage/kale, etc. Because cool season annuals flower in the spring when conditions are mild, most have limited heat tolerance.

As a result cool season annuals do not receive a high Earth–Kind® index despite their outstanding landscape qualities.