Bald Cypress Taxodium distichum (Linnaeus) L.C. Richard    Synonyms: Bald-cypress, Baldcypress.
Kingdom Plantae   >   Division Coniferophyta   >   Class Pinopsida   >   Order Pinales   >   Family Cupressaceae   >   Genus Taxodium   

Status:

The native range of Bald Cypress is the lower Atlantic Coastal Plain from southern Delaware to southern Florida and along the lower Gulf Coast Plain, and inland along the Mississippi River Valley. Bald Cypress grows naturally only in swamps and wet soils.

In Maryland, Bald Cypress is a very popular tree that is heavily planted by both the State and the public. It is native only to the state's southern Coastal Plain. Populations north of Dorchester County or the Battle Creek Cypress Swamp in Calvert County should be considered non-native! Most non-native populations of Bald Cypress do not reproduce and should not be considered established unless there is proof of reproduction, i.e., very young trees that have obviously not been planted. Cypress "knees" are not an example of reproduction as these are just evidence of the trees' roots.

Description:

Bald Cypress is an unusual conifer in that it is deciduous. It produces distinctive, erect, conical "knees" that protrude above water level or wet soil. These are protrusions of the roots. Bald Cypress bark is reddish-brown to gray, fibrous and shredding. The gray color is most common in trees that have been exposed to the weather.

Where to find:

At Battle Creek Cypress Swamp Preserve in Calvert County, a boardwalk traverses the largest remaining Bald Cypress swamp on the western shore. The Nassawango area of Worcester and Wicomico Counties also has many large native stands of Bald Cypress.

Relationships:

Host to Cypress Twig Gall Midge and the Cypress Flower Gall Midge.

Host to a variety of moth species including Cypress Looper Moth, Bald Cypress Coneworm Moth, Bald Cypress Sphinx Moth, Lithophane abita, Cypress Emerald Moth, Angle-winged Emerald Moth. and Imperial Moth.

There are 146 records in the project database.

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Bald Cypress knees in Calvert Co., Maryland (12/27/2008). Photo by Janice Browne. (MBP list)

Bald Cypress knees in Worcester Co., Maryland (2/25/2012). Photo by Donna Mason-Spier. (MBP list)

A Bald Cypress in Baltimore Co., Maryland (12/28/2014). Photo by Bob Cammarata. (MBP list)

Bald Cypress growing in Harford Co., Maryland (11/13/2016). Photo by Dave Webb. (MBP list)

Bald Cypress cones in Queen Anne's Co., Maryland (9/16/2012). Photo by Jim Brighton. (MBP list)

Bald Cypress in Prince George's Co., Maryland (5/28/2010). Photo by Bill Harms. (MBP list)

Young Bald Cypress cones observed in Worcester Co., Maryland (4/28/2012). Photo by Jim Brighton. (MBP list)

Bald Cypress (young plant in late fall) in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (11/21/2015). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

Bald Cypress in Carroll Co., Maryland (5/26/2013). Certainly pushing the very edge of the species range in Maryland. Photo by Mikey Lutmerding. (MBP list)

Bald Cypress in Wicomico Co., Maryland (11/6/2021). (c) apistopanchax, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by Josh Emm. (MBP list)

Bald Cypress catkins in Worcester Co., Maryland (3/25/2017). Photo by Ashley Bradford. (MBP list)

A cone from a Bald Cypress growing in Worcester Co., Maryland (4/28/2012). Photo by Jim Brighton. (MBP list)

Bald Cypress in Harford Co., Maryland (2/12/2021). (c) sdavis, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by sdavis via iNaturalist. (MBP list)

Bald Cypress in Baltimore City, Maryland (4/26/2019). (c) jbaker88, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by jbaker88 via iNaturalist. (MBP list)

Bald Cypress in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (6/12/2017). Photo by Matthew Beziat. (MBP list)

Bald Cypress in Worcester Co., Maryland (11/22/2020). (c) Wayne Longbottom, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by Wayne Longbottom. (MBP list)

Bald Cypress growing in Prince George's Co., Maryland (7/6/2014). Photo by Matthew Beziat. (MBP list)

Bald Cypress in Caroline Co., Maryland (5/29/2016). (c) Wayne Longbottom, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by Wayne Longbottom. (MBP list)

Bald Cypress in Worcester Co., Maryland (2/25/2012). (c) Donna Mason-Spier, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA). Photo by Donna Mason-Spier via iNaturalist. (MBP list)


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