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Tropicals > Cupressus > Cupressus lusitanica > Cupressus lusitanica

Cupressus lusitanica

Mexican Cypress, Cedar of Goa

Origin:  Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras.
            Mike's Opinion

this is Mike


This splendid aromatic evergreen retains its appeal through the year with its pendulous branches covered in dense glaucous blue to dark green foliage which cascades over its short trunk. Perfect for screening or as a windbreak.

Michael Pascoe, NDP., ODH., CLT., MSc. (Plant Conservation)


Tree (evergreen)
Callitropis lusitanica
USDA Hardiness Zone
Canadian Hardiness Zone
RHS Hardiness Zone
H3 - H4
Temperature (°C)
Temperature (°F)
30 - 40 m
2 - 7 m
Description and Growing Information
Flowering Period
General Description
Large broadly pyramidal tree with cylindrical branches which have branchlets that are pendulous in appearance covered in dense foliage.
Ornamental in large landscapes such as parks.
Prefers full sun, deep moist, well-drained soils with a pH of 6.6-7.5. Cannot tolerate water logging and is drought tolerant.
Crown is dense and broad to pyramidal, more pyramidal in younger trees; with a short trunk.
ID Characteristic
Deeply furrowed exfoliating bark that has a cracked appearance. Foliage is bluish-green to dark green, the leaves are small ovate and pressed tightly together, appearing scale-like. The small seed cones are spherical with 6-8 tiny scales which change from bluish-green to brown at maturity.
Honey fungus can harm young plants. Oemida gahani borer.
Mountainous regions.
Bark/Stem Description
In young trees the bark is smooth and orangey brown, becoming reddish brown as it matures. The mature bark has vertical fissures and eventually becomes rough and develops short cracks. The bark exfoliates and peels off in long strips.
Flower/Leaf Bud Description
Small greenish yellow buds.
Leaf Description
Leaves are bluish-green oval shaped, closely pressed and scale-like. The leaves grow in a dense spray type of formation.
Flower Description
Male cones are small yellowish green plump tips on branchlets, these cones produce yellow pollen. Female cones are spherical becoming 1-1.5 cm in diameter turning from greenish blue to brown as they mature.
Fruit Description
Seed cones are sub-globose, 1-1.5 cm in diameter with 6-8 scales each having several ovules. The seeds are brown in colour and have resin glands that are approximately 4 mm long, there are approximately 75 seeds in each cone.
Colour Description
Leaves bluish-green to dark green with some yellowy green near newer shoots. Bark can range from a reddish-brown to a greyish-brown. Young trees have bark that appears as an orangey-brown. Stems between foliage are reddish-brown. New female cones are bluish-green and change to brown at maturity. Male cones are bluish-green and have a slightly yellow appearance. Seeds are brown.
Texture Description
It is a medium textured tree and remains medium textured year round.
Notable Specimens
Hanbury Botanic Gardens, Mortola, Italy. Kilmacurragh Arboretum, Rathdrum, Ireland. Woodstock Gardens, Inistioge, Ireland.
Allow seed capsules to mature on the plant, collecting just prior to dehiscence. Harvested seeds should be stratified for 3 weeks to encourage germination. When seedlings reach a manageable size they can be put into pots to continue growing for their first winter. Then should be planted outside late spring to early summer after the last frost. Cuttings should be taken late spring / early summer, grown in a frame to provide the humidity needed for rooting.
Ethnobotanical Uses (Disclaimer)
Used as an ornamental, timber, as a Christmas tree, screening and windbreaks.
Odd, G. B. (2011). Trees and Shrubs, A Gardener's Encyclopedia. Richmond Hill, Ontario: Firefly book Ltd. Cafferty, S. (2005). Firefly Encyclopaedia Of Trees. Richmond Hill, Ontario: Firefly books Ltd.