bald cypress

bald cypress

bald cypress, common name for members of the Taxodiaceae, a small family of deciduous or evergreen conifers with needlelike or scalelike leaves and woody cones. Most species of the family are trees of East Asia; almost all are cultivated for ornament (and are often erroneously called firs or pines). The redwoods (see sequoia) and the bald cypresses are the only species native to North America. The bald cypresses (genus Taxodium) were widely distributed in the geologic past but are now restricted to the SE United States and Mexico. They are called "bald" because of their deciduous character, unusual in conifers. The common bald cypress (T. distichum) forms dense forests in the southeastern swamplands and is a common tree of the Everglades. It produces "knees" which project from the root system upward above water level to facilitate gas exchange. Because it is resistant to wood-rotting fungi, it is valued as softwood lumber for shingles, trim, and especially for greenhouse benches and racks. T. mucronatum, the big cypress or Mexican bald cypress, is a larger tree with a more western range. The true cypresses belong to a separate family. The bald cypress family is classified in the division Pinophyta, class Pinopsida, order Coniferales.

Either of two large swamp trees (Taxodium distichum and T. ascendens; family Taxodiaceae) of the southern U.S. that are related to the sequoias. The hard red wood of cypress is often used for roofing shingles. The so-called deciduous cypress family (see deciduous tree) comprises 10 genera with 15 species of ornamental and timber evergreen trees, native to eastern Asia, Tasmania, and North America. The leaves on a single tree may be scalelike, needlelike, or a mixture of both. Both male and female cones are borne on the same tree. The Tasmanian cedar (Athrotaxis), Japanese cedar (Cryptomeria japonica), China fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata), umbrella pine (Sciadopitys verticillata), big tree, redwood, dawn redwood, and bald cypress are economically important timber trees in this family.

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Cypress is the name applied to many plants in the conifer family Cupressaceae (cypress family). Most plants which bear the common name cypress are in the genera Cupressus and Chamaecyparis, but several other genera in the family also carry the name, including:

The word Cypress is also used as a descriptor for the angiosperm vine in the bindweed family Convolvulaceae, known as the Cypress vine (Ipomoea quamoclit).

Iran's Ancient Cypresses

Cypress was the first choice for Iranian Gardens (PARDIS). In all of the famous Persian Gardens, such as Fin Garden, Mahaan, Dowlat-Abad, and others, this tree plays a central role in their design. The most ancient living Cypress is located in Abarkooh, near Shiraz. Its age is estimated to be approximately 4000 years.

Mythology

In Greek mythology, the cypress is associated with the god of the underworld, Hades.

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