Cupressus funebris

12 Mar

Cupressus funebris (02/02/2014, Kew gardens, London)

Cupressus funebris (02/02/2014, Kew gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to light shade

Flowering period: Late winter

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 35m

Eventual Spread: 10m

Hardiness: 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b, 11

Family: Cupressaceae

Cupressus funebris is an upright evergreen tree. Its grey/ green leaves appear in two forms, juvenile and adult. Its juvenile leaves soft, needle like and up to 8mm long.  Its adult leaves are scales and up to 2mm long and appear as flattened pendulous sprays. Its trunk may achieve a diameter of up to 2m. Its brown bark is smooth. Its yellow monoecious flowers are in the form of female seed cones ans male pollen cones. Its grey/ green fruit are cones up to 15mm long.

Cupressus funebris Leaf (02/02/2014, Kew gardens, London)

Cupressus funebris Leaf (02/02/2014, Kew gardens, London)

Cupressus funebris, commonly known as the Chinese Weeping Cypress or Mourning Cypress, is native to south west and central China. In its native habitat it grows in a wooded environment.

The etymological root of the binomial name Cupressus is derived from the old Latin name for ‘Italian cypress’. Funebris is from Latin meaning ‘funeral’, presumably giving rise to one of its common names.

The landscape architect may find Cupressus funebris useful as an ornamental specimen conifer tree. Once established this tree is drought tolerant.

Cupressus funebris Seed Cones (02/02/2014, Kew gardens, London)

Cupressus funebris Seed Cones (02/02/2014, Kew gardens, London)

Ecologically,  Cupressus funebris is of little wildlife benefit in the UK.

Cupressus funebris prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil. It will tolerate poor soils.

Cupressus funebris requires little maintenance.

Davis Landscape Architecture

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One Response to “Cupressus funebris”

  1. David Hollombe 13/03/2014 at 17:45 #

    “Within the woods, on the brow of the hills, and in the vallies, were several thousand tombs, generally built in the form of small houses, about six or eight feet high, painted mostly blue, and fronted with white pillars, and ranged in the form ‘of a pigmy street. The tombs of persons of high rank were situated, apart, on the slope of hills, on terraces of a semicircular form, and supported by breast-walls of stone, and doors of black marble, inscribed with the names, qualities, and virtues of the deceased, at length; and oftentimes obelisks were erected upon the terraces. Those monuments of departed greatness are surrounded by trees, such as different species of the cypress, whose deep and melancholy hue seems to have pointed them every where out, as well suited for scenes of woe; the churchyard yew did not, however, grow there, nor was it observed in any part of China; but a species of weeping thuya, or lignum vitae’, with long and pendent branches, unknown in Europe, overhung many of the graves.”
    in
    An authentic account of an embassy from the king of Great Britain to the emperor of China
    George Leonhard Staunton

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