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: