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Common Name:

Montezuma Cypress

Scientific Name:

Taxodium mucronatum (Taxodium distichum var. mexicanum)

Family Name:

Taxodiaceae

Description:

Montezuma Cypress is potentially a large massive conifer, but is often similar in size to the Common Baldcypress (Taxodium distichum) in our region. Trees are evergreen in warmer climates, so semievergreen or tardily deciduous in cold regions. In youth Montezuma Cypress develops a broader more irregular crown than Common Baldcypress, but later develops into a mostly pyramidal tree. This species is similarly tolerant of wet soils and periodic flooding, but is much faster growing than Common Baldcypress. This is a handsome species with potentially better adaptation to the higher pH soils in our region. Although native to the Southern Rio Grande Valley, this species is most widely distributed in Mexico.

Plant Habit or Use:

Tree, medium tree, large tree

Exposure:

sun, partial sun

Flower Color:

None, cone bearing.

Blooming Period:

Spring

Fruit Characteristics:

Small globose cones that fall apart at maturity.

Height:

50 ft or so in Texas, taller in Mexico.

Width:

20 ft to 30 ft, more in Mexico.

Earth–Kind® Index:

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

Firewise Index

8.00
Explanation of the Firewise Index numerical value

USDA Hardiness Zones:

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:

The ultimate cold tolerances of this species are not known, but plants have survived without damage in zone 7b.
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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.