Cupressus macrocarpa: Lemon Cypress

Family: Cupressaceae
Common name: Lemon cypress, Monterey cypress, Cypress goldcrest

There are many similar looking trees in the family Cupressaceae or Cypress, that it’s difficult to distinguish between them. They are all characterized by long needle-like leaves and cones for fruits. The leaves vary in size, color and the way it stands – erect or drooping or slanting; and the trees themselves vary in size and shape.

Cypress trees grow to a height of 5-40 meters tall and are spread throughout the world in all habitats and temperatures. The common species in the Cypress family are Cupressus macrocarpa, Cupressus nootkatensis, Cupressus glabra, Cupressus sempervirens, Cupressus chengiana etc.

They are all used as ornamental trees in gardens and parks; small variants are grown indoors.

In India gardens, the most commonly seen one is Cupressus macrocarpa or Lemon cypress tree, called so because of a lemony scent that emanates from the leaves when they are crushed. They are also called Goldcrest cypress because of the golden-yellow color of the leaves.

The dwarf variant only grows to about 3 meters and is ideal as an indoor plant, though they need a sunny spot inside the house. In spite of their hardy look, cypress trees need a good amount of water when they are growing.

Plants can be pruned severely into desired shapes and they look good shaped or unshaped, since they have a natural conical shape. They produce hard, ridged fruits that are green initially, then turning brown; containing small winged seeds.

They can make good Christmas trees inside your house, or it can be a good gift tree for occasions. They can bring a lot of character to your garden as an accent plant or a hedge or just planted in rows by the driveway to your house. Go ahead, indulge in a Lemon Cypress tree, and make your garden the envy of your neighbors.

Propagation is from stem cuttings or from seeds.

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