Cypress, Cupressus sempervirens. Rocky mountainous areas, usually near the coast, in S. Europe. An evergreen tree growing to 30m by 5m at a medium rate. This species is somewhat tender in Britain especially when young and at least in the north of the country, it grows best in the south and the west. The seed takes two summers to mature. Mature cones can remain unopened on the tree for a number of years. 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. An essential oil is distilled from the shoots. It is used in perfumery and soap making.


"...and cedar and cypress, and other kinds unknown in the Shire, with wide glades among them; and everywhere there was a wealth of sweet-smelling herbs and shrubs . . . fronds pierced moss and mould, larches were green-fingered,..." [Back to Herblore]

In Greece

Cypress in Provence

Leaves and cones