American Bald Cypress
Other Name: Swamp Cypress
American Bald Cypress Leaves
American Bald Cypress Fruit
American Bald Cypress Bark
American Bald Cypress Knees
Leaves: Needles borne singly, pointed at the tip, up to 3/4 inches long, yellow-green, falling away during autumn.
Buds: Spherical, pale brown, up to 1/8 inch in diameter.
Bark: Pale reddish-brown, broken into numerous thin scales, becoming fibrous.
Twigs: Slender, reddish-brown, leaf scars absent.
Flowers: Staminate borne in branched clusters up to 5 inches long, purplish, pistillate few to several near the ends of the twigs, spherical.
Fruits: Cones nearly spherical, up to 1 inch in diameter, green to brown, wrinkled.
Wood: Soft, durable, light in weight, brown.
Uses: Railroad ties, fence posts, barrels, bridges; often planted as an ornamental.
Habitat: Swamps and low wet woods.
Growth Form: Large tree to over 100 feet tall; trunk diameter up to 8 feet; crown open and spreading to pyramidal; base of trunk often swollen; “knees” usually produced if tree is growing in water.
Distinguishing Feature: Bald Cypress is distinguished by the feathery appearance of its leaves and by its spherical, wrinkled cones.
Source: Mohlenbrock, Robert. Forest Trees of Illinois. Eighth Edition, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, 1996.