Wednesday, May 10, 2017

UW Botanic Gardens MayPlant Profile Of Pond Cypress

Each month the UW Botanic Gardens' Newsletter, E-Flora, posts in detail about a specific plant, among many other interesting posts about events and general information.

This month's featured plant is Taxodium distichum var. imbricatum or wire netting bush .  It can be seen at the Center for Urban Horticulture in the bed to the south entering  the northwest driveway entrance

Here is the posting:

May 2017 Plant Profile: Taxodium distichum var. imbricatum

Bald cypress cone

Commonly known as pond cypress, this plant is just coming “back to life” at this time of year. It is one of the few deciduous conifers, and here in May it is starting to leaf out. The needle-like foliage is a feathery bright green during spring and summer. In the autumn, the foliage turns orange-brown before it drops. This leads some people to believe the tree is dying. The bark varies from gray-brown to red-brown and the cones are green, round and crinkly looking, a little like a brain.

Pond cypress has a columnar shape with a straight trunk and the branches are typically horizontal.  It is a slow grower and a low maintenance tree.  It is resistant to deer and air pollution.  It prefers moist, acidic, sandy soils but can tolerate anything from shallow standing water to ordinary garden soil with average moisture.
young taxodium leaves
At the UW Botanic Gardens you can see a lovely specimen, accession # 40-90*B, at the Center for Urban Horticulture.  It is located in the bed to the south just as you enter the northwest driveway entrance (CUH-ENT-4 on the CUH Planting Regions map).
Genus:   Taxodium
Species:  distichum var. imbricatum
Native to:  Southeast United StatesZones:  5-9Height:  30’- 70’Spread:  15’-20’Sun:   Full sunWater:  medium to wet soil
taxodium distichum fall color
Taxodium distichum in fall color growing at the Washington Park Arboretum

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