The Gymnosperm Database

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Foliage on a tree at the North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, NC [C.J. Earle, 2004.10].

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The big tree at Cat Island, Louisiana [©Vladimir Dinets 2012].

 

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Conservation status

Taxodium distichum var. distichum

Common names

Bald-cypress, southern-cypress (Watson 1993).

Taxonomic notes

Synonymy:

Description

Trees to 50 m tall and 400 cm dbh. "Bark usually dark reddish brown to light brown with shallow furrows. Branchlets mostly with leaves in 2 ranks, pendent to horizontally spreading. Leaves mostly narrowly linear, ca. 5-17 mm, laterally divergent, free portion contracted and twisted basally. 2n= 22 (Watson 1993).

Distribution and Ecology

USA: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia at 0-500 m elevation in brownwater rivers, lake margins, and swamps, occasionally in slightly brackish water (Watson 1993).

Big tree

The official "big tree" has a dbh of 521 cm, height of 25 m and crown spread of 26 m, located on Cat Island, LA (American Forests 2000).

The tallest known specimen is in Carter's Grove, Williamsburg, Virginia; it is 44.11 m tall (Rucker 2003).

Oldest

A crossdated age of 1622 years for specimen BCK69 from NC collected by Stahle, Cleaveland, and Hehr (Brown 1996). This is from a living tree, collected in the 1980's, and I visited it in 1987. The tree is in an area that has seen many hurricanes and all trees in the area have lost their tops repeatedly; as a consequence, the tree is hollow. It would be hard to estimate a total age for the tree, but it must certainly exceed 2,000 years and possibly 3,000.

Dendrochronology

Ethnobotany

Observations

Remarks

Citations

American Forests 2000. The National Register of Big Trees 2000. Washington, DC: American Forests. The big tree register is now available online.

See also

Farjon (2005).

Last Modified 2017-12-29