Information & resources about plants & gardens for Brisbane & Qld
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Pencil Pines

Cupressus sempervirens cultivars

Other Common Names: Italian cypress, Tuscan cypress, Mediterranean cypress
Family: Malvaceae

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.


Click for larger image.

pencil_pine pencil_pine


Other Information Online

Italian Cypress, Cupressus sempervirens Urban Forest Ecosystems Institute, California
Cupressus sempervirens 'Stricta' Plant Species for Urban Landscape Projects in Canberra, Transport Canberra and City Services, ACT Government (PDF)
Cupressus sempervirens University of Florida (PDF)
Cupressus sempervirens Flowers in Israel
Italian cypress Common Forest Trees of Hawaii (PDF)
Cupressus sempervirens L. Trees and Shrubs of the ETS de Ingenieros Agrónomos and the EU de Ingeniería Técnica Agrícola of Madrid
Cupressus sempervirens University of Arizona
Cupressus sempervirens N.C. State University, North Carolina


Blue Italian Cypress - Cupressus sempervirens 'Glauca' California Polytechnic State University
Nitschkes Needle Swanes Golden



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