Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Mexican Cypress, Montezuma Cypress
Taxodium huegelii

Family: Cupressaceae (koo-press-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Taxodium (taks-OH-dee-um) (Info)
Species: huegelii (hew-GEL-ee-eye) (Info)

Synonym:Taxodium mucronatum

One member has or wants this plant for trade.


Unknown - Tell us

30-40 ft. (9-12 m)
over 40 ft. (12 m)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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There are a total of 27 photos.
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4 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Aslan89 On Nov 3, 2011, Aslan89 from Harlingen, TX wrote:

We have a wonderful specimen growing in the center courtyard of the education building at UTPA in Edinburg Texas. It has grown taller than the 3 story building that surrounds it so it is at least 45 feet tall now.

Positive lou_DFW On Sep 12, 2007, lou_DFW from Midlothian, TX wrote:

There is a large montezuma cypress growing in clay topsoil on top of limestone/caliche base (or just straight into caliche? no idea) in north Texas. In the literature, they are not supposed to thrive beyond San Antonio but this tree apparently is thriving with no problem in this type of soil. There is a bald cypress next door from this tree doing poorly. It looks to me that it is having iron chlorosis problem??? There are many bald cypress like that in this area. I do not know why they keep planting them if they are not going to thrive. We also seem to have ice storm every year. The winter temperature sometimes get as low as 15*F but usually in the low 20s. There was 0*F weather in 1983 and 1989 but I don't know if this tree existed at that time. Anyway, it seems to do great here. Time will tell if mine will thrive in caliche soil.

There are actually some Montezuma cypress trees growing in New Mexico where the winters are much colder, way out of native range for these trees! I have some seedlings that was grown from seeds collected from New Mexico by a nursery.

Positive BROforest On Aug 19, 2007, BROforest from Brownsville, TX (Zone 9b) wrote:

In Brownsville, TX we have both mucronatum and distichum. the differences seem to be that the Montezuma Baldcypress has slightly shorter needles and is more evergreen and does not lose it's needles as much. The cones are a bit larger and the male flower racimes longer but the biggest difference is that the Montezuma baldcypress does not form the knees like the distichum does. The Montezuma grows faster but that may be mostly a function of the warmer climates without the shorter growing seasons experienced further north into the US by the diistichum. The Montezuma Baldcypress makes a fairly drought resistant landscape tree here and seems to survive the harsh conditions within green islands in Walmart parking lots. The tree loses its needles in the hotest droughtiest portion of the summer or during periods of tropical storms with salt-laden strong winds. With all of the interplanting of the two types here it seems like there are many crosses, except that there seem to be far less of them with the knee structure here than those in and noth of San Antonio, therefore mostly mucronatum are planted here in Brownsville.
Either variety should be planted more here especially around our numerous resacas(oxbow lakes left from previous paths of the Rio Grand River), to stabilize the banks. We use these trees to replant native vegetation around our resacas with the help of various EPA-USDA sponsored types of soil stabilization grants. The photo I put up is along the banks of a part of our Resaca De La Palma. Wherever people in the past have planted the invasive Salt-Cedars and Australian Pines along resacas they slowly should be replaced with Baldcypress, Montezuma Baldcypress(further back from the bank) and native Black Willow.

Positive palmbob On Mar 9, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is a massive tree with itty bitty leaves. One specimen in Mexico is considered to have the largest trunk of any tree in the world (over 50' in circumference?). And it can grow up to over 140' tall. Big! In parts of its range (like here in Southern California) it is deciduous, or partly so (loses most of its leaves) or trees will have a brown look, like they died... but in spring new light green needles/leaves grow back. Has a nice peeling trunk, too. Very ornamental tree. Incredibly drought tolerant, yet can survive along stream margins with roots underwater all the time.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

San Marino, California
Coushatta, Louisiana
Austin, Texas
Brownsville, Texas
Edinburg, Texas
Midlothian, Texas

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