T r e e s  o f  N o r t h  C a r o l i n a

Taxodium Rich. (Cupressaceae)

A genus of three species of trees; e. North America and Mexico.

Two species occur in North Carolina: T. ascendens and T. distichum. They are both considered native to the state.

Key to Taxodium in North Carolina

1. Larger knees short, rarely > 4 dm tall, usually columnar or broad and mound-like, with thick, compact bark on top; leafy branchlets ascending from the twigs, secundly erect (the base often curving, the apical portion of the branchlet borne in a vertical plane), except on juvenile trees (which mimic T. distichum); leaves subulate, spirally arranged, not spreading laterally and featherlike (except on juvenile trees), ascending or appressed; leaves mostly 3-10 mm long (to 15 mm long on juvenile trees); bark thick (1-2.5 cm thick), furrowed, darkbrown, not exfoliating; [trees of isolated depressions (clay-based Carolina bays, depression ponds), wet savannas, pocosins and other wet peaty habitats, and, less commonly, blackwater swamps and natural lakes]...T. ascendens (Pond-cypress)

1. Larger knees often tall, often > 4 dm tall, usually narrowly conical, with thin, shreddy bark on top; leafy branchlets spreading laterally from the twigs, except in the crowns of mature trees (which sometimes mimic T. ascendens); leaves linear, flat, spirally arranged but by twisting of their basal portions spreading laterally and featherlike (pseudo-distichous), appressed only on drooping branches of the crown, if at all; leaves mostly 8-20 mm long (sometimes less on crown branches); bark thin (< 1 cm thick), exfoliating in shreddy, orange-brown strips; [trees of brownwater swamp forests, blackwater swamp forests, natural lakes, and millponds]...T. distichum (Bald-cypress)