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This slow-growing tree can be found throughout most of Florida in lakes, swamps, floodplains and along streams. The range extends north to New York and west into Texas, mostly in the coastal plain, and up the Mississippi River drainage into southern Illinois.
The trunk of bald cypress is spreading at the base with a deep tap root and spreading roots that send up knees extending out of the soil and water. The purpose of these knees is not entirely clear, but they are believed to help both with support and gas exchange.
The vast cypress forests of the southeast United States have mostly been timbered, leaving few old-growth trees. The Suncoast chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society has produced a brochure called Why kill a tree to grow a flower? (pdf file) explaining the detriments of using cypress mulch and listing some alternatives that are available.
There are more photographs of bald cypress trees on the Lake Disston page
Taxodium distichum is a member of the Cupressaceae - Cypress family.
Other species of the Taxodium genus in the Wild Florida Photo database:
View Taxodium ascendens - POND CYPRESS
Trees of Eastern North America Gil Nelson; Christopher J. Earle; Richard Spellenberg; Amy K. Hughes(ed.) ; David More(ill.)
Covering 825 species, more than any comparable field guide, Trees of Eastern North America is the most comprehensive, best illustrated, and easiest-to-use book of its kind.
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Presenting all the native and naturalized trees of the eastern United States and Canada as far west as the Great Plains--including those species found only in tropical and subtropical Florida and northernmost Canada--the book features superior descriptions; thousands of meticulous color paintings by David More that illustrate important visual details; range maps that provide a thumbnail view of distribution for each native species; "Quick ID" summaries; a user-friendly layout; scientific and common names; the latest taxonomy; information on the most recently naturalized species; keys to leaves and twigs; and an introduction to tree identification, forest ecology, and plant classification and structure. The easy-to-read descriptions present details of size, shape, growth habit, bark, leaves, flowers, fruit, flowering and fruiting times, habitat, and range. Using a broad definition of a tree, the book covers many small, overlooked species normally thought of as shrubs. With its unmatched combination of breadth and depth, this is an essential guide for every tree lover.
The most comprehensive, best illustrated, and easiest-to-use field guide to the trees of eastern North America
Covers 825 species, more than any comparable guide, including all the native and naturalized trees of the United States and Canada as far west as the Great Plains
Features specially commissioned artwork, detailed descriptions, range maps for native species, up-to-date taxonomy and names, and much, much more
An essential guide for every tree lover