Cupressus sempervirens cultivars
Other Common Names: Italian cypress, Tuscan cypress, Mediterranean cypress
The common name "pencil pine" is loosely applied to a number of narrow, upright conifer species, but horticulturally it usually refers to Cupressus sempervirens, the classic tall, narrow conifer of the Mediterranean.
The wild type of Cupressus sempervirens is actually broad tree. The familiar narrow "pencil" types are derived from an upright form which has been cultivated for centuries. These are usually denoted as variety 'stricta' or 'pyramidalis' to distinguish them from the wild form. A number of cultivars such as 'Nitschkes Needle', 'Glauca' and 'Swanes Golden' have been derived from the stricta form.
'Nitschkes Needle' (synonym 'Karoonda') is often listed as a type of Cupressus sempervirens but is actually a columnar form of Cupressus macrocarpa (Monterey Cypress).
Unfortunately, the pencil pine is susceptible to cypress canker.
More to come in future updates.