Ann. Mus. Natl. Hist. Nat. 16: 298. 1810.
Trees seasonally cladoptosic; trunk enlarged basally and often conspicuously buttressed; crown monopodial and conic when young, often becoming irregularly flattopped or deliquescent (branched and so divided that the main axis cannot be determined) with age. Shoot system conspicuously dimorphic, long shoots indeterminate, bearing individually abscising, linear to lanceolate leaves, short shoots determinate, abscising in autumn with their leaves, variable, intergrading, at one extreme pendent to horizontally spreading, bearing decurrent, narrowly linear and laterally divergent leaves in 2 rows, at other extreme strictly ascending to occasionally pendent, bearing short-lanceolate to deltate and tightly appressed leaves. Pollen cones in pendent panicles to ca. 25 cm, 2–3 mm, conspicuous in winter prior to pollination. Seed cones 1.5–4 cm.
Ala., Ark., Del., Fla., Ga., Ill., Ind., Ky., La., Md., Miss., Mo., N.C., Okla., S.C., Tenn., Tex., Va., Mexico, Central America in Guatemala.
The two varieties recognized in the flora are indistinguishable in reproductive characteristics and continuously intergrading in morphologic and phenologic characteristics, although pure populations of the extremes appear morphologically and ecologically distinct. Unlike the varieties in the flora, var. mexicanum is annually cladoptosic, with determinate short shoots abscising concomitantly with expansion of shoots of the following year. Specimens from juvenile individuals, stump sprouts, fertile branchlets, terminal vegetative branchlets, or late-season growth may not be determinable to variety.
Taxodium distichum (baldcypress) is the state tree of Louisiana.
Varieties 3 (2 in the flora).
|1||Determinate short shoots with leaves mostly in 2 ranks, pendent to horizontally spreading; leaves mostly narrowly linear, ca. 5-17 mm, laterally divergent, free portion contracted and twisted basally.||Taxodium distichum var. distichum|
|1||Determinate short shoots with leaves not in 2 ranks, mostly ascending vertically; leaves mostly narrowly lanceolate, ca. 3-10 mm, appressed and overlapping, free portion not contracted and twisted basally.||Taxodium distichum var. imbricarium|