Friday, June 17, 2011

Chinese Water Cypress

Glyptostrobus pensilus

The Chinese Swamp Cypress is a relative of our native Bald Cypress and can grow into a large tree on marshy soil. Typically reaching up to 60 feet at maturity;
in the first year it can reach 3.5 feet and some other records include: 10 years - 24 x 9 feet; 20 years - 25 x 13 feet; largest on record - 130 x 30 feet with a trunk diameter of 7 feet.
It is nearly extinct in the wild in its native range due to exploitation of it very valuable, scented, decay resistant wood.
It is not an evergreen, its bright green to blue-green foliage turns glowing red or even pink before falling in autumn. Its foliage somewhat resembles the related Taxodium ascendens of North American swamps.
The cones are pear shaped and up to an inch in length.
It also has very orange-red fibrous attractive bark.
Native to southern China & northern Vietnam where it was previously widespread - has become extremely rare and may now be extinct in the wild due to agriculture and logging/clearing of river valleys. It is very flood tolerant and will grow in up to 2 feet of water. Its need for hot humid summers makes it very well adapted to the southeast U.S. Indeed it was widespread in the Northern Hemisphere before the last ice ago. It is not well known and not often planted in the U.S. or Europe ( 50 feet tree in Cornwall, ENG ). Very easy to grow; this tree is not bothered by pest or diseases.
Hardy zones 6 to 11 where summers are hot enough to ripen the wood. Full sun only.

* photo taken on Feb 2009 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.

* photos taken on 4th of July 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC



* photo taken on June 23 2013 @ U.S. National Arboretum, Washington, DC

* photos taken on Feb 8 2014 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* historic archive photo

* photos taken on Apr 23 2017 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

* photos taken on Aug 5 2017 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

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