Its deciduous foliage is arranged in two flat flanks, similar to Taxus with a delicate, feathery appearance. The fresh yellow-green needles in spring darken for summer and then turn russet in fall. The roots develop cypress knees when grown near water, or with plenty of moisture.
Requiring full sun but tolerant of part shade, it is fast-growing but not a dwarf. The form is narrow when young; pyramidal as it matures with long level branches. Growth is 2-4'/yr, 16 H/8 W, 60'/UH; found in Z5 southeastern USA, New Jersey to Texas.
(Excerpt from Dwarf & Unusual Conifers Coming of Age A Guide to Mature Garden Conifers by Sandra McLean Cutler)
The 10 yr. old Bald Cypress pictured here is growing at the edge of a lake. The trunk had begun to flare at the base and it has developed two knees.
The photo was taken in November 1999 and shows the rich autumn color.
Photo by Charlene Harris
Taxodium distichum knees
Great example of Bald Cypress knees. These are on a small grouping at Dawes Arboretum in Conifer Glen. Photo taken on a sunny 60 degree day in January of 2002.
Photo by Prairie Barger
Close-up of foliage and cones
This heavy coning was probably induced by the severe weather conditions of the summer 2002 and winter 2003 in Wooster Ohio. There are three trees growing in a row and all are laden with cones.
Photo by Bill Barger
Bald Cypress Roots
Roots on a 15 year old Bald Cypress created by slowly exposing roots through irrigation.
Photo by Len Stubenfoll
Closeup of Taxodium distichum twig with unripe cones and leaves. Note alternate leaf arrangement; cones about the size of a ping pong ball
Photo by Phil Syphrit