Italian cypress Cupressaceae Cupressus
sempervirens L. symbol: CUSE2
Leaf: Evergreen, scale-like, blunt-tipped, tight and crowded on the twig in opposite pairs, dark green.
Flower: Species is monoecious; males are small, pale yellow-green at ends of branch tips; females small light green near branch tips.
Fruit: Dry, egg-shaped to round, woody cones, to 1 1/2 inch in length, 6 to 8 overlapping scales, each scale with a small projection.
Twig: Slender, square, covered in scale-like leaves, turning gray with age.
Bark: Red-brown in color, exfoliating in long, fibrous strips, weathers to ashy gray.
Form: An upright, straight tree to 100 feet maximum but far more commonly to less than 50 feet. Most planted trees are cultivars selected for their very narrow crowns.
Looks like: eastern redcedar - western redcedar - Arizona cypress - Hinoki falsecypress
Additional Range Information: Cupressus sempervirens is planted in the USDA hardiness zones shown above and is not known to widely escape cultivaton.
External Links: USDA Plants Database - Horticulture Information
All material © 2018 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson; Silvics reprinted from Ag Handbook 654; range maps courtesy USGS from USDA "Atlas of United States Trees" by Elbert L. Little, Jr., Vol. 1 (1971) 3 (1976) 4 (1977) 5 (1978)