Taxodium distichum 'Mickelson' SHAWNEE BRAVE
Common Name: bald cypress 
Type: Tree
Family: Cupressaceae
Zone: 4 to 9
Height: 50.00 to 75.00 feet
Spread: 15.00 to 20.00 feet
Bloom Time: Non-flowering
Bloom Description: Non-flowering
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Street Tree, Rain Garden
Leaf: Good Fall
Fruit: Showy
Tolerate: Deer, Erosion, Clay Soil, Wet Soil, Air Pollution


Best grown in average, medium to wet, moisture-retentive soils in full sun. Prefers moist, acidic, sandy loams, but tolerates a wide range of soil conditions ranging from average moisture garden soils to wet soils.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Taxodium distichum, commonly called bald cypress, is a long-lived, pyramidal conifer (cone-bearing tree) which grows 50-70' tall (less frequently to 125'). Although it looks like a needled evergreen (same family as redwoods) in summer, it is deciduous ("bald" as the common name suggests). It is native to southern swamps, bayous and rivers, primarily being found in coastal areas from Maryland to Texas and in the lower Mississippi River valley to as far north as the southeast corner of Missouri. In the deep South, it is a familiar sight growing directly in swampy water, often in large strands, with its branches heavily draped with Spanish moss. In cultivation, however, it grows very well in drier, upland soils. Trunks are buttressed (flared or fluted) at the base, and when growing in water, often develop distinctive, knobby root growths ("knees") which protrude above the water surface around the tree. Soft, feathery, yellowish-green foliage (1/4" long, flat needles in two ranks) turns an attractive orange/cinnamon-brown in fall. Rounded, wrinkled, 1 inch diameter, purplish-green cones mature to brown. Heavy, straight-grained, rot-resistant wood has been used for a variety of purposes including barrels, railroad ties and shingles. Closest relative is the dawn redwood (Metasequoia) which is also deciduous. State tree of Louisiana.

Genus name comes from the Latin word Taxus meaning yew and the Greek word eidos meaning resemblance from a similarity of leaf shape.

Specific epithet means is two ranks for the needle arrangement.

‘Mickelson', commonly sold in commerce under the trade name of SHAWNEE BRAVE, is a narrow pyramidal cultivar that typically grows with a strong central leader to 50-75' tall and to 15-20' wide. It has a narrower shape and denser foliage than species trees.


Healthy, well-maintained plants in the proper growing conditions usually have few problems. Twig blight and rots may occur. Watch for spider mites.


Interesting large landscape specimen or accent.