The Cupressaceae family encompasses Cypress trees from both Italian Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens) and Lawson’s Cypress (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana). The Cypress cultivars come in a variety of interesting shapes and colours and include some of our best selling conifers, such as Cupressus sempervirens 'Pyramidalis'.
Our Cypress trees vary from columnar and conical shapes, to the wider and rounder shapes of more shrubby varieties. Cupressus sempervirens 'Pyramidalis' has a particularly narrow, columnar shape that makes it hugely popular for formal situations. Cypress trees also vary greatly in colour, from the vibrant gold of Chamaecyparis lawsoniana 'Stardust' to the silver-blue tones of Chamaecyparis lawsoniana 'Pembury Blue'.
Since being imported in 1854, Lawson’s Cypress have become some of the most popular conifers in Britain, commonly found in parks and domestic planting spaces. Whilst renowned for reaching large heights in their native regions (up to 60m!), the ornamental Lawson's Cypress varieties we supply won't reach those heights in the UK climate. Many are dwarf or small-scale cultivars, ideal for planting in small gardens or modestly-sized landscaped areas. Some are even great candidates for being grown in a pot or planter. They're a particularly dense species which makes them great for screening purposes and they make a wonderful sanctuary for foraging birds, particularly finches.
Chamaecyparis lawsoniana cultivars display flat, fern-like foliage, made up of scales rather than needles. When crushed, the foliage of these trees smells like parsley. Lawson's Cypress are dioecious, meaning they produce male and female cones. These cones are fairly small, averaging around 1cm in diameter. They appear green in Spring and Summer months, before adopting a brown shade in the Autumn. Though both the male and female cones develop in Spring, they don't actually become reproductively active until the following Spring.
The bark of Lawson Cypress usually ranges from red-brown to silver-brown in shades, becoming vertically fissured with age. This thick and furrowed bark enables them to survive moderate bush fires, which are often a threat in the dry, windy and hot Summer weather of their native California.
These trees vary greatly in preference, so it is easy to find one that will be suited to a certain position. Some prefer full sun, whilst others cope in everything from full sun to full shade (for example, Chamaecyparis lawsoniana Ellwood's Pillar).