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Cupressus sempervirens - L.                
                 
Common Name Italian Cypress
Family Cupressaceae
USDA hardiness 7-11
Known Hazards Poisonous[76]. No more details.
Habitats Rocky mountainous areas, usually near the coast, in S. Europe[45, 89].
Range S. Europe to W. Asia.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun

Summary       
Form: Columnar.

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of cone
Cupressus sempervirens is an evergreen Tree growing to 30 m (98ft) by 5 m (16ft) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 7. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Jan to February. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

Synonyms
Cupressus sempervirens Italian Cypress


Mark W. Skinner @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database
Cupressus sempervirens Italian Cypress
   
Habitats
Woodland Garden Canopy;
Edible Uses                                         
None known
Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Anthelmintic;  Antipyretic;  Antirheumatic;  Antiseptic;  Aromatherapy;  Astringent;  Balsamic;  Vasoconstrictor;  Vulnerary.

The cones and young branches are anthelmintic, antipyretic, antirheumatic, antiseptic, astringent, balsamic and vasoconstrictive[7, 46, 240]. They are harvested in late winter and early spring, then dried for later use[7]. Taken internally, it is used in the treatment of whooping cough, the spitting up of blood, spasmodic coughs, colds, flu and sore throats[254]. Applied externally as a lotion or as a diluted essential oil (using an oil such as almond), it astringes varicose veins and haemorrhoids, tightening up the blood vessels[254]. A foot bath of the cones is used to cleanse the feet and counter excessive sweating[254]. The extracted essential oil should not be taken internally without professional guidance[254]. A resin is obtained from the tree by making incisions in the trunk[7]. This has a vulnerary action on slow-healing wounds and also encourages whitlows to come to a head[7]. An essential oil from the leaves and cones is used in aromatherapy. Its keyword is 'Astringent'[210].
Other Uses
Cosmetic;  Essential;  Wood.

An essential oil is distilled from the shoots. It is used in perfumery and soap making[1, 46, 61]. The leaves contain about 2% essential oil whilst the wood contains about 2.5%[240]. An infusion of the wood is used in footbaths to combat perspiration of the feet[7]. Wood - fragrant, very hard and durable. A popular wood for building uses, cabinet making and wardrobes, especially since it retains its fragrance, repels moths and is impervious to woodworm[1, 7, 11, 89].
Cultivation details                                         
Landscape Uses:Border, Screen, Specimen. Thrives in a deep well-drained loamy or peaty soil[11]. Established plants are very tolerant of hot dry conditions and drought[81]. Tolerates poor sandy soils[81] but is then more subject to damage by white-scale insects in a succession of dry seasons[11]. Plants are not very happy when growing on chalky soils but they thrive on limestone[200]. Requires a sunny position[81]. This species is somewhat tender in Britain especially when young and at least in the north of the country[81], it grows best in the south and the west[11]. Trees are probably much hardier than has been supposed. No trees were reported as killed by the very severe winter of 1962 - 3, even some trees east of Edinburgh survived without damage. A healthy tree at Cambridge botanical gardens was 6 metres tall in 1989[K]. Growth can be quite vigorous, especially in young trees, with many averaging 60cm a year[185]. Growth slows and almost comes to a halt when the tree is 12 - 15 metres tall[185]. New growth takes place from mid-May to mid-October[185]. Plants are subject to injury by the wind[1, 11]. Trees are notably susceptible to honey fungus[200]. The seed takes two summers to mature[227]. Mature cones can remain unopened on the tree for a number of years[81]. They open after the heat of a forest fire to scatter their seeds which then germinate and grow away quickly in the ashes of the fire[200]. Plants are resentful of root disturbance, any transplanting should be done in April or September when the roots are in active growth[11, 81]. A very variable plant[11]. Special Features:Not North American native, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.
                                                                                 
Propagation                                         
Seed - sow late winter in a cold frame and only just cover the seed[164]. Three weeks cold stratification can improve germination rates[164]. The seed usually germinates in 1 - 2 months at 20°c. The seedlings are very subject to damping off so should be watered with care and kept well-ventilated[113]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. The seed can store for several years[113]. Cuttings of almost ripe wood, September in a frost-proof frame[1]. April/May is the best time to take cuttings[113].
Related Plants                                         
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Cupressus arizonicaArizona Cypress00
Cupressus funebrisChinese Weeping Cypress, Mourning-cypress01
Cupressus macrocarpaMonterey Cypress01
Cupressus torulosaHimalayan Cypress00
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Expert comment                                         
 
      
Author                                         
L.
                                                                                 
Botanical References                                         
1150200
                                                                                 
Links / References                                         
For a list of references used on this page please go here
Readers comment                                         
 
Elizabeth H.
Ms Ida Belsey Sun Aug 31 2008
I would like to buy a Cupressus sempervirens but have been quite appalled at the cost of them. Is there anywhere I could purchase the seeds to grow my own?
Elizabeth H.
Sun Oct 12 2008

Whatcom Seed Company Cupressus sempervirens (Italian Cypress) seeds available

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Subject : Cupressus sempervirens  
             
                                        
                                                                                 
                                                                                 
   
 

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