Division Pinophyta > Order Pinales > Family Cupressaceae.
As a result of DNA analysis most Taxodiaceae genera have been transferred to Cupressaceae.
The genus Taxodium has 2 or 3 species/varieties:
- T. distichum var. imbricatum has needle-like leaves that are round in cross section.
- With flat leaves are T. mucronatum (essentially evergreen) and T. distichum var. distichum (deciduous).
Montezuma cypress. Synonym Taxodium distichum var. mucronatum.
A large evergreen tree up to 40 m tall with a thick trunk.
It only occasionally has ‘knees’ – portions of roots that are above the surface of the soil or water.
Some grow in swampy areas or in the water.
Reddish-brown to grey bark peels in vertical strips.
The leaves are needle-like but flat in cross section, up to 20 mm long by 2 mm wide.
Small branchlets look like pinnate leaves.
The trees are evergreen but the small branchlets are deciduous with the leaves turning a red-brown
before the branchlets fall.
The ovoid female cones, on a short stalk, are up to 25 mm long and 20 mm wide.
They have thick scales.