Italian Cypress, Funeral Cypress, Mediterranean Cypress

Cupressus sempervirens

Family: Cupressaceae (koo-press-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Cupressus (koo-PRESS-us) (Info)
Species: sempervirens (sem-per-VY-renz) (Info)
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Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


over 40 ft. (12 m)


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade


Pollen may cause allergic reaction

Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By grafting

Seed Collecting:

Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:


Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Queen Creek, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona

Acton, California

Canoga Park, California

Clovis, California

Concow, California

Davis, California

Duarte, California

Fairfield, California

Fresno, California

Modesto, California

Rancho Mirage, California

Reseda, California

Roseville, California

Wildomar, California

Palm Coast, Florida

Saint Charles, Illinois

Ledbetter, Kentucky

Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Las Vegas, Nevada (2 reports)

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Roswell, New Mexico

Cary, North Carolina

Cleveland, Ohio

Dundee, Oregon

Portland, Oregon

North, South Carolina

Sumter, South Carolina

Austin, Texas

Copperas Cove, Texas

El Paso, Texas

Grand Prairie, Texas

Murchison, Texas

Richmond, Texas

San Marcos, Texas

Arlington, Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 21, 2015, vossner from Richmond, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Rated neutral b/c overplanted in my area, therefore a bore. They're cheap, easy to obtain and fast growers. Excellent drainage is key and should you have an excessively heavy rainy spell, these trees will be the first to succumb. I think some people want to emulate Tuscan scenes dotted with Italian cypresses but it doesn't quite work here...


On Jan 20, 2015, sladeofsky from Louisville, KY (Zone 6b) wrote:

The cultivar 'Worthiana' is reportedly hardy to zone 6.


On May 13, 2014, MJSVA from Arlington, VA wrote:

Planted several 3 foot Italian Cypress along our property line in Arlington, VA (zone 7a/7b) in the Spring of 2013 where they would get full sun. They thrived until the extreme cold of the 2013/2014 winter. The plants did experience some winter kill on the bottom, with surprising new growth in May 2014 on limbs that were totally brown after the winter. These plants survived the coldest winter in Northern Virginia in 30 years.


On Aug 22, 2013, NorthSC from North, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:

Mediterranean Cypress looks good in Central South Carolina. Perfect tree for your garden and house corners.


On Jan 30, 2011, henrimonet from Cary, NC wrote:

Two-years ago this spring I bought two (matching) Italian cypress, planting each in a 24-inch container, using neutral compost and a soil conditioner and river rock mix, minimum 6-hours sun year around, only occasional supplemental watering, underplanted Southern creeper around the base. The first year they grew 11-inches. Then a mild winter helped them grow another 14-inches last year. They looked full and green until we experienced a longer than usual fall, then a heavy Christmas snow followed by some very low extended temperature for this part of the South. Since that time they've looked anemic and grayish. Because it could simply be nutrient depletion I added a homemade mixture of crushed egg-shells and commercial shrub fertilizer. It seems to be helping one, but the other isn't showin... read more


On Nov 22, 2010, williamglenn from Austin, TX wrote:

This tree looks full and strong in southern New Mexico and Southwestern Texas, and I just got back from a trip out there where I saw thousands of beautiful Italian Cypress. Back home, in Austin, TX, they look scraggly and sick; always with the bottom (at least) third leggy and ugly. It is a shame that so many people opt for this plant, which will inevitably look terrible, rather than the better-adapted Will Flemming Yaupon, or Arizona Cypress. I assume they need better drainage, as in New Mexico they were growing in sand. Don't plant this tree in Central Texas!!!!


On Dec 19, 2009, ARWadoo from Srinagar
India wrote:

4 plants of this species are gracefully growing along the wall of my lawn. The italian cupressus is compact and does not spread. Its upright branches make it beautiful.It needs not the trimming other species need. Snow dimantles other varieties of this species but not the italian one.I want to propagate the species by cuttings and would like to know the details of the material and the method required including a simple and common rooting medium



On Oct 16, 2009, purplesun from Krapets
Bulgaria (Zone 8a) wrote:

Such a humble, yet such a noble tree! I don't understand how so many people want to cut down Italian cypresses so as to plant a bed of perennial flowers or whatever.
I have seen the plain wild form with horizontal branches in Cyprus and they are really macabre looking. But the fastigiate variety adds a sense of permanence to a garden. Of course, it needs very careful placing in the landscape, or it will look completely out of place. And I think it is best to plant something contrasting at its feet, then it looks good.
Actually, one of the main features of the Balchik University Botanic Gardens are two rows of fastigiate Italian cypresses with very old clipped boxwood plants between them. These two rows are on both sides of an artificial brook, and there is a large collection ... read more


On May 8, 2007, wtsitmn from Carrollton, TX wrote:

When I lived in Roseville, Ca, I planted a dozen seedlings as a barrier near the back fence to block the view of the neighbor's ugly yard. The first few years were tricky, as the young trees tended to topple over during a rainstorm. After they reached about 10 feet in height, they were solidly rooted and I had no further problems. To get them to grow fast and give them drainage, I dug 3ft deep holes in the ground. Where I lived, this depth broke through the nasty clay topsoil to the sandy stuff beneath. Sand is great for drainage, which these trees need so the roots don't rot. I doubt these trees would do well in north Dallas because of the bad soil conditions here. The deep clay doesn't provide the necessary drainage.


On Sep 6, 2006, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Aside from a Juniper, these were the only trees in our yard when we moved in a few years ago... very common trees all over California (too common)... Don't make all that great a shade unless planted right next to each other (which ours are)... are VERY messy trees, dumping a load of 'needles' yearly... but which tend to get trapped in the branches thanks to the upright shape of all the branches... then suddenly dropping several pounds of litter all at once... also all that litter makes for a huge fire hazard.. Saying that, they still are sort of an odd tree, and though tempted to have them all cut down and removed, they do shade our house a bit, and I can grow palm trees up between them. Ours are about 50' tall right now. I see them topped often- not sure how good that is for the tree, ... read more


On Nov 29, 2003, phuffman wrote:

This plant grows extensively in Austin, Texas.


On Sep 5, 2002, ADKSpirit from Lake Placid, NY (Zone 4a) wrote:

Italian Cypress is a relatively quick growing evergreen tree that can eventually grow to over 100 feet tall. They are a good choice where space is at a premium. A row of several can be used as a windbreak. They are usually planted in groups of threes as an accent against a tall building, with underplantings of flowering shrubs or colorful perennials. They can be used to "hide" an ugly wall. I have even seen pictures of them with their tops tied together, turning them into a kind of "living arch".