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bald cypress

bald cypress (Taxodium distichum)
Photo © Illinois Department of Natural Resources

Features and Behaviors

The bald cypress tree may grow to nearly 100 feet tall. Some Illinois bald cypress trees are more than 1,000 years old. This tree sometimes produces "knees" in or near the water. "Knees" are structures that grow from the roots to the water's surface. The pale, red-brown bark is scaly. Leaves are yellow-green needles that may be up to three-fourths inch long. Leaves fall off the tree in autumn. Fruits are spherical, brown to green, wrinkled cones.

The bald cypress tree grows in swamps and wet areas. This tree flowers from September through November.

Illinois Range


​Kingdom: Plantae

Division: Coniferophyta

Class: Pinodsida

Order: Pinales 

Family: Cupressaceae

Illinois Status

​common, native

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