Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!


Plant Database

Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

Enter a Plant Name:
Or you can choose a plant family:
Taxodium mucronatum (Montezuma bald cypress)
Flaigg, Norman G.

Taxodium mucronatum

Taxodium mucronatum Ten.

Montezuma Bald Cypress, Montezuma Cypress, Mexican Cypress, Ahuehuete, Sabino

Cupressaceae (Cypress Family)



USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Large, needle-leaf, aquatic tree with tall, straight trunk and broad crown of spreading branches and drooping twigs, evergreen or nearly so. Trunk enlarged at base with ridges above; sometimes small "knees" project from submerged roots.

The national tree of Mexico, Montezuma Baldcypress is closely related to the Baldcypress of the southeastern United States, T. distichum (which also occurs in Mexico), but is usually evergreen and is not hardy in cold climates. The Big Tree of Tule, near Oaxaca, Mexico, is a famous giant. Apparently formed by the fusion of 3 trees, it has a trunk circumference of 112 ft (34 m) and a height of 141 ft (43 m). The majestic veterans in Chapultepec Park, Mexico City, are taller, reaching 165' (50 m), and are among the oldest cultivated trees in the New World, perhaps exceeding 600 years.


From the Image Gallery

2 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Fruit Type: Cone
Size Notes: Up to about 130 feet tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Brown
Bloom Time: Feb , Mar
Bloom Notes: Flowers inconspicuous.


Native Distribution: From southernmost Texas (Cameron and Hidalgo counties) south through much of Mexico to Costa Rica. The northernmost Mexican populations in Coahuila are actually farther north in latitude than the Texas populations.
Native Habitat: Swamps, streams, and river banks at sea level

Growing Conditions

Water Use: High
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Wet
Soil Description: Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay
Conditions Comments: Faster growing than Bald Cypress in good conditions and semi-deciduous in winter. Could suffer winter damage in Central Texas northward. A cone bearing plant, Montezuma Cypress cones open in February and seeds ripen in October after flowering in March or April. Seeds are released upon cone ripening, and germinate as soon as moisture conditions permit. There is a weeping form.


Use Ornamental: Fall conspicuous, Attractive, Long-living
Use Wildlife: Nesting site, Cover, Substrate-insectivorous birds, Seeds-Small mammals
Interesting Foliage: yes

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Texas Discovery Gardens - Dallas, TX
NPSOT - Native Plant Society of Texas - Fredericksburg, TX
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department - Austin, TX
NPSOT - Austin Chapter - Austin, TX
NPSOT - Williamson County Chapter - Georgetown, TX


Bibref 298 - Field Guide to Texas Trees (1999) Simpson, B.J.
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 291 - Texas Wildscapes: Gardening for Wildlife (1999) Damude, N. & K.C. Bender

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.

Additional resources

USDA: Find Taxodium mucronatum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Taxodium mucronatum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Taxodium mucronatum


Record Modified: 2023-03-23
Research By: TWC Staff

Go back