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Pond Cypress Taxodium ascendens (Taxodiaceae) HEIGHT to 18m. Slender, conical to columnar deciduous tree. BARK Grey and ridged in older specimens. BRANCHES Horizontal but curving down sharply at tips, and fine shoots that curved upwards with small clasping leaves and give a knotted-cord look. Deciduous shoots are shed in autumn. There is a fine display of autumn colours, starting orange and turning brown. LEAVES Pale green and 8mm long; arranged spirally. REPRODUCTIVE PARTS Male flowers are yellowish-green, hanging catkins up to 20cm long. Female flowers are produced on the same tree at base of male catkins, first appearing in autumn, but not opening until spring. Rounded cones up to 3cm long are green at first but ripen brown. STATUS AND DISTRIBUTION Native of the SE USA, growing in wet ground by ponds and swampy ground. Introduced into Britain, where it succeeds only in warmer parts of the south.