Cupressus sempervirens 'Stricta' (Mediterranean Cypress)
- TropPlant Accession Number (TPAN): 0064
- Botanical Name: Cupressus sempervirens
- Common Name: Italian Cypress, Mediterranean Cypress, Turkish Cypress, Common Cypress
- Cultivar: 'Stricta' (Some people include subspecific names for the two general forms: fastigiate ('Stricta') & horizontal. The fastigiate form is treated as a cultivar, while the horizontal form is believed to be the form pre-horticultural intervention. The fastigiate form is the form/cultivar described specifically in this post. Additionally there are compact forms of the fastigiate form.)
- Family: Cupressaceae
- Native To: Mediterranean Region from Morocco & Spain to Egypt, Israel & Iran
- Plant Type: Tree, Conifer, Evergreen
- Texture: Fine
- Form: Conical, Upright-Narrow
- Height (on average, in landscape use): 45' - 60'
- Height to Spread Ratio: 13:1
- Growth Rate: Medium
- Landscape Values: Accent, Background, Border, Edging, Facer, Filler, Foundation, Framing, Mass, Quick Effect, Screen, Sculptural Form, Space Division, Specimen, Windbreak
- Outstanding Quality: Form/Silhouette
- Cones: Female cones are roundish, stocky, 8-14 opposite scales, grayish-brown, and remain on the branch for many years due to fire-mediated serotiny. Male cones are minuscule and yellow.
|Cupressus sempervirens branches bearing leaves with terminal male cones |
Photo by Matthew Gaston
- Foliage Color: Young/immature: Light Green. Mature: Bright medium green to blue-green
- Foliage Tip: Obtuse
- Foliage Base: Obtuse
- Petiole: n/a
- Stipules: n/a
- Margins: Smooth
- Leaf Arrangement: Opposite (Decussate)
- Leaf Shape: Ovate
- Leaf Type: Scale
- Leaf Texture: Waxy, smooth
- Leaf Special Notes: Small, opposite scale-like leaves. The photos included in this page are rather poor and not focused on these minuscule leaves.
- Bark and Trunk: Juvenile bark is grayish, smooth & glossy maturing into a vertically furrowed grayish-brown bark.
- Light Preference: Full Sun
- Light Tolerances: Semi-Sun
- Soil Preferences: Acidic, Slightly Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline, Clay, Loam, Sand, Organic, Moist, Dry (Mesic), Well-Drained. Does well in most soil types as long as it is well draining with no standing water.
- Tolerances: Drought
- Water Requirements: Low water needs. Susceptible to root rot, so needs well-draining soil.
- Notes on Maintenance: Fastigiate form (tall, narrow, needle-shaped) do not require any pruning. Susceptible to root rot (if soil is wet & saturated for long durations) and a fungal pathogen causing shoot browning. By planting in a mesic, full sun area with relatively low humidity, these two moisture related diseases will be less likely to occur and spread. This is a Mediterranean plant that can be grown in drier areas of tropical landscapes.
- Propagation: Seeds, Cutting, Layer
- Minimum USDA Hardiness Zone: 7
- Weed Risk Assessment Score (WRA): 9, High Risk