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Bald Cypress

Bald Cypress

Taxodium distichum

A deciduous tree, with smooth gray bark and a buttress base. Leaves are needlelike, typically spreading from their supporting shoots, thus featherlike in appearance, often appearing like leaflets in a compound leaf. The fine, light-green leaves of the springtime later turn dark green and then rusty red in autumn. The main trunks are surrounded by cypress knees, which promote gaseous exchange between the atmosphere and the subterranean root system, because they grow in a waterlogged, oxygen-deficient environment.

Wildlife – Gray squirrels feed on the cones, and various birds feed on the pollen.

Glades Indians used the wood for cups, bowls, and tubs. The Mikasukis, or Miccosukees, used cypress to build houses, canoes, dance posts, coffin logs, medicine bowls, spoons, food paddles, to make arrowheads, drums, ox yokes and bows, heddles, mortars and pestles, ball poles, spoon ball sticks, and dolls, and in tanning.