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Uses

Toxic parts

Poisonous[1]. No more details.

Edible uses

There are no edible uses listed for Cupressus sempervirens.

Material uses

An essential oil is distilled from the shoots. It is used in perfumery and soap making[2][3][4]. The leaves contain about 2% essential oil whilst the wood contains about 2.5%[5].

An infusion of the wood is used in footbaths to combat perspiration of the feet[6].

Wood - fragrant, very hard and durable. A popular wood for building uses, cabinet making and wardrobes, especially since it retains its fragrance, repels moths and is impervious to woodworm[2][6][7][8].

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

The cones and young branches are anthelmintic, antipyretic, antirheumatic, antiseptic, astringent, balsamic and vasoconstrictive[6][3][5]. They are harvested in late winter and early spring, then dried for later use[6]. Taken internally, it is used in the treatment of whooping cough, the spitting up of blood, spasmodic coughs, colds, flu and sore throats[9]. Applied externally as a lotion or as a diluted essential oil (using an oil such as almond), it astringes varicose veins and haemorrhoids, tightening up the blood vessels[9]. A foot bath of the cones is used to cleanse the feet and counter excessive sweating[9]. The extracted essential oil should not be taken internally without professional guidance[9].

A resin is obtained from the tree by making incisions in the trunk[6]. This has a vulnerary action on slow-healing wounds and also encourages whitlows to come to a head[6].

An essential oil from the leaves and cones is used in aromatherapy. Its keyword is 'Astringent'[10].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Canopy

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - sow late winter in a cold frame and only just cover the seed[11]. Three weeks cold stratification can improve germination rates[11]. The seed usually germinates in 1 - 2 months at 20°c. The seedlings are very subject to damping off so should be watered with care and kept well-ventilated[12]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. The seed can store for several years[12]. Cuttings of almost ripe wood, September in a frost-proof frame[2]. April/May is the best time to take cuttings[12].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Cupressus sempervirens. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Thrives in a deep well-drained loamy or peaty soil[7]. Established plants are very tolerant of hot dry conditions and drought[13]. Tolerates poor sandy soils[13] but is then more subject to damage by white-scale insects in a succession of dry seasons[7]. Plants are not very happy when growing on chalky soils but they thrive on limestone[14]. Requires a sunny position[13].

This species is somewhat tender in Britain especially when young and at least in the north of the country[13], it grows best in the south and the west[7]. Trees are probably much hardier than has been supposed. No trees were reported as killed by the very severe winter of 1962 - 3, even some trees east of Edinburgh survived without damage. A healthy tree at Cambridge botanical gardens was 6 metres tall in 1989[K]. Growth can be quite vigorous, especially in young trees, with many averaging 60cm a year[15]. Growth slows and almost comes to a halt when the tree is 12 - 15 metres tall[15]. New growth takes place from mid-May to mid-October[15]. Plants are subject to injury by the wind[2][7]. Trees are notably susceptible to honey fungus[14]. The seed takes two summers to mature[16]. Mature cones can remain unopened on the tree for a number of years[13]. 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[14]. Plants are resentful of root disturbance, any transplanting should be done in April or September when the roots are in active growth[7][13].

A very variable plant[7].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Cupressus sempervirens. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Cupressus sempervirens.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Cupressus sempervirens
Genus
Cupressus
Family
Cupressaceae
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
7
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
no shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
  • Drought
Ecosystems
Native Climate Zones
None listed.
Adapted Climate Zones
None listed.
Native Geographical Range
None listed.
Native Environment
None listed.
Ecosystem Niche
Root Zone Tendancy
None listed.
Life
Deciduous or Evergreen
Herbaceous or Woody
Life Cycle
Growth Rate
Mature Size
30 x 5 meters
Fertility
?
Pollinators
Flower Colour
?
Flower Type

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References

  1. ? Cooper. M. and Johnson. A. Poisonous Plants in Britain and their Effects on Animals and Man. HMSO ISBN 0112425291 (1984-00-00)
  2. ? 2.02.12.22.32.4 F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
  3. ? 3.03.13.23.3 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
  4. ? 4.04.1 Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
  5. ? 5.05.15.25.3 Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C. Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement). Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi. (1986-00-00)
  6. ? 6.06.16.26.36.46.56.66.7 Chiej. R. Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants. MacDonald ISBN 0-356-10541-5 (1984-00-00)
  7. ? 7.07.17.27.37.47.57.67.77.8 Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (1981-00-00)
  8. ? 8.08.1 Polunin. O. and Huxley. A. Flowers of the Mediterranean. Hogarth Press ISBN 0-7012-0784-1 (1987-00-00)
  9. ? 9.09.19.29.39.4 Chevallier. A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants Dorling Kindersley. London ISBN 9-780751-303148 (1996-00-00)
  10. ? 10.010.1 Westwood. C. Aromatherapy - A guide for home use. Amberwood Publishing Ltd ISBN 0-9517723-0-9 (1993-00-00)
  11. ? 11.011.1 Bird. R. (Editor) Growing from Seed. Volume 4. Thompson and Morgan. (1990-00-00)
  12. ? 12.012.112.2 Dirr. M. A. and Heuser. M. W. The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation. Athens Ga. Varsity Press ISBN 0942375009 (1987-00-00)
  13. ? 13.013.113.213.313.413.5 Rushforth. K. Conifers. Christopher Helm ISBN 0-7470-2801-X (1987-00-00)
  14. ? 14.014.114.214.3 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
  15. ? 15.015.115.2 Mitchell. A. F. Conifers in the British Isles. HMSO ISBN 0-11-710012-9 (1975-00-00)
  16. ? Vines. R.A. Trees of North Texas University of Texas Press. ISBN 0292780206 (1982-00-00)
  17. ? Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named PFAFimport-50

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