Cypress – plant of the week, July 22, 2013

Richard Bogren, Owings, Allen D.

Pond cypress

Louisiana’s state tree is the baldcypress. This tree goes by the scientific name of Taxodium distichum. It is one of our most distinguished native trees and is widely used in Louisiana landscapes. Louisianians also plant some trees that are similar to baldcypress.

A botanical variety of baldcypress is called pond cypress (Taxodium distichum var. nutans). Pond cypress has finer-textured foliage than bald cypress and is more upright growing. Foliage color can be enjoyable in spring with new growth, and most trees have attractive, rusty-brown fall foliage that lingers into early to mid-December in south Louisiana. The pond cypress can usually be “picked out” of a lineup of cypress trees because of its distinguishing foliage characteristics. It’s worthy of increased use in Louisiana.

Also in Louisiana we now have limited availability of the Montezuma cypress, which is native to northern Mexico. It is mostly evergreen in Louisiana and does not produce the cypress “knees” to which we are accustomed.

And look for the variety Nanjing Beauty, an exciting new hybrid cypress that resulted from a cross between baldcypress and Montezuma cypress.

7/20/2013 1:50:16 AM
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