Taxodium mucronatum Ten.
Montezuma Bald Cypress, Montezuma Cypress, Mexican Cypress, Ahuehuete, Sabino
Cupressaceae (Cypress Family)
USDA Symbol: tamu
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
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Size Notes: Up to about 130 feet tall.
Bloom InformationBloom 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 ConditionsWater 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.
BenefitUse Ornamental: Fall conspicuous, Attractive, Long-living
Use Wildlife: Nesting site, Cover, Substrate-insectivorous birds, Seeds-Small mammals
Interesting Foliage: yes
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording 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
BibliographyBibref 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
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Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Taxodium mucronatum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Taxodium mucronatum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Taxodium mucronatum
MetadataRecord Modified: 2015-11-05
Research By: TWC Staff