A genus of deciduous coniferous trees consisting of 2 or 3 species (T. distichum, baldcypress; T. ascendes, pondcypress; T. mucronatum, Montezuma cypress) or only one species (T. distichum). Trunks are often buttressed, and in wet situations, surrounded by aerial, conical roots (pneumatophores). Bark light brown, furrowed and scaly. Branchlets are of two kinds, those near the end of shoots with axillary buds and are persistent, whereas those lower on the shoots without axillary buds are deciduous. Leaves (needles), radially arranged, flat, thin, with 2 stomatal lines below, those on deciduous branches are usually two ranked, those on persistent branchlets spread radially. Native to the southern U.S. and Mexico.
Some argue that the most appropriate taxonomic treatment is one species with three botanical varieties: baldcypress [Taxodium distichum (L.) Rich. var. distichum], pondcypress [T. distichum var. imbricarium (Nutt.) Croom], and Montezuma cypress [T. distichum var. mexicanum Gordon]. Others only recognize the first two botanical varieties and the Montezuma cypress as Taxodium mucronatum and more recently as Taxodium huegelii.
Taxodium: from Taxus and Greek eidos, resemblance; the genus is somewhat resembles Taxus.