Last updated

Cypress is a common name for various coniferous trees or shrubs of northern temperate regions that belong to the family Cupressaceae. The word cypress is derived from Old French cipres, which was imported from Latin cypressus, the latinisation of the Greek κυπάρισσος ( kyparissos ). [1] [2]

Cupressaceae family of plants

Cupressaceae is a conifer family, the cypress family, with worldwide distribution. The family includes 27–30 genera, which include the junipers and redwoods, with about 130–140 species in total. They are monoecious, subdioecious or (rarely) dioecious trees and shrubs up to 116 m (381 ft) tall. The bark of mature trees is commonly orange- to red- brown and of stringy texture, often flaking or peeling in vertical strips, but smooth, scaly or hard and square-cracked in some species.

Old French was the language spoken in Northern France from the 8th century to the 14th century. In the 14th century, these dialects came to be collectively known as the langue d'oïl, contrasting with the langue d'oc or Occitan language in the south of France. The mid-14th century is taken as the transitional period to Middle French, the language of the French Renaissance, specifically based on the dialect of the Île-de-France region.

Latin Indo-European language of the Italic family

Latin is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. The Latin alphabet is derived from the Etruscan and Greek alphabets and ultimately from the Phoenician alphabet.


Species that are commonly known as cypresses include:

<i>Widdringtonia</i> genus of plants

Widdringtonia is a genus of coniferous trees in the Cupressaceae. The name was Austrian botanist Stephan Endlicher's way of honouring an early expert on the coniferous forests of Spain, Capt. Samuel Edward Cook or Widdrington (1787-1856). There are four species, all native to southern Africa, where they are known as cedars or African cypresses.

<i>Taxodium</i> genus of plants

Taxodium is a genus of one to three species of extremely flood-tolerant conifers in the cypress family, Cupressaceae. The generic name is derived from the Latin word taxus, meaning "yew", and the Greek word εἶδος (eidos), meaning "similar to." Within the family, Taxodium is most closely related to Chinese swamp cypress and sugi.

<i>Glyptostrobus pensilis</i> species of plant

Glyptostrobus pensilis, also known as Chinese swamp cypress, is the sole living species in the genus Glyptostrobus. It is native to subtropical southeastern China, from Fujian west to southeast Yunnan, and also very locally in northern Vietnam.

The Cupressaceae family also contains 13–16 other genera (not listed above) that do not bear cypress in their common names.

Plants named cypress
<i>Actinostrobus arenarius</i> species of plant

Actinostrobus arenarius is a species of conifer in the cypress family, Cupressaceae. Its common names include sandplain cypress, Bruce cypress, Bruce cypress-pine, and tamin. It is endemic to Western Australia.

<i>Callitris preissii</i> species of plant

Callitris preissii is a species of conifer in the Cupressaceae family, endemic to Rottnest Island, Australia. Common names include Rottnest Island pine, Murray pine, maroong, southern cypress pine, or slender cypress pine. The Noongar peoples know the tree as marro.

<i>Chamaecyparis pisifera</i> species of plant

Chamaecyparis pisifera is a species of false cypress, native to central and southern Japan, on the islands of Honshū and Kyūshū.

See also

Wikisource-logo.svg The Cypress . A poem by Letitia Elizabeth Landon from The Amulet, 1826.

Letitia Elizabeth Landon English poet and novelist

Letitia Elizabeth Landon, English poet and novelist, better known by her initials L.E.L.

Related Research Articles

<i>Thuja</i> genus of plants

Thuja is a genus of coniferous trees in the Cupressaceae. There are five species in the genus, two native to North America and three native to eastern Asia. The genus is monophyletic and sister to Thujopsis. Members are commonly known as arborvitaes, thujas or cedars.

Swamp cypress is a common name for more than one species of plants in the family Cupressaceae (cypresses):

Gymnosperm group of plants, at a varying rank

The gymnosperms, also known as Acrogymnospermae, are a group of seed-producing plants that includes conifers, cycads, Ginkgo, and gnetophytes. The term "gymnosperm" comes from the Greek composite word γυμνόσπερμος, meaning "naked seeds". The name is based on the unenclosed condition of their seeds. The non-encased condition of their seeds stands in contrast to the seeds and ovules of flowering plants (angiosperms), which are enclosed within an ovary. Gymnosperm seeds develop either on the surface of scales or leaves, which are often modified to form cones, or solitary as in Yew, Torreya, Ginkgo.

<i>Cupressus</i> genus of plants

Cupressus is one of several genera within the family Cupressaceae that have the common name cypress; for the others, see cypress. It is considered a polyphyletic group. Based on genetic and morphological analysis, the genus Cupressus is found in the subfamily Cupressoideae. The common name comes from Old French cipres and that from Latin cyparissus, which is the latinisation of the Greek κυπάρισσος (kypárissos).

<i>Cupressus macrocarpa</i> species of plant

Cupressus macrocarpa,, commonly known as Monterey cypress, is a species of cypress native to the Central Coast of California. The native range of the species was confined to two small relict populations, at Cypress Point in Pebble Beach and at Point Lobos near Carmel, California.

Leyland cypress nothospecies of plant, Leyland Cypress

The Leyland cypress, Cupressus × leylandii, often referred to simply as leylandii, is a fast-growing coniferous evergreen tree much used in horticulture, primarily for hedges and screens. Even on sites of relatively poor culture, plants have been known to grow to heights of 15 metres (49 ft) in 16 years. Their rapid, thick growth means they are sometimes used to achieve privacy, but such use can result in disputes with neighbours whose own property becomes overshadowed. The tree is a hybrid, almost always sterile, and propagated mainly from cuttings.

<i>Cupressus nootkatensis</i> species of plant

Cupressus nootkatensis is a species of trees in the cypress family native to the coastal regions of northwestern North America. This species goes by many common names including: Nootka cypress, yellow cypress, Alaska cypress, Nootka cedar, yellow cedar, Alaska cedar, and Alaska yellow cedar. The specific epithet "nootkatensis" is derived from its discovery on the lands of a First Nation of Canada, those lands of the Nuu-chah-nulth people of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, who were formerly referred to as the Nootka.

<i>Pilgerodendron</i> species of plant

Pilgerodendron is a genus of conifer belonging to the cypress family Cupressaceae. It has only one species, Pilgerodendron uviferum, and is endemic to the Valdivian temperate rain forests and Magellanic subpolar forests of southern Chile and southwestern Argentina. It grows from 40 to 55°S in Tierra del Fuego, where it is the southernmost conifer in the world. It is a member of subfamily Callitroideae, a group of distinct southern hemisphere genera associated with the Antarctic flora.

Cedar is the common name for cedar wood, used for several different trees that grow in different parts of the world.

<i>Xanthocyparis</i> genus of plants

Xanthocyparis is a genus of cypresses in the family Cupressaceae, comprising one species native to North America and one native to Vietnam in southeast Asia.

<i>Austrocedrus</i> genus of plants

Austrocedrus is a genus of conifer belonging to the cypress family (Cupressaceae). It has only one species, Austrocedrus chilensis, native to the Valdivian temperate rain forests and the adjacent drier steppe-forests of central-southern Chile and western Argentina from 33°S to 44°S latitude. It is known in its native area as ciprés de la cordillera or cordilleran cypress, and elsewhere by the scientific name as Austrocedrus, or sometimes as Chilean incense-cedar or Chilean cedar. The generic name means "southern cedar".

<i>Actinostrobus pyramidalis</i> species of plant

Actinostrobus pyramidalis, commonly known as swamp cypress, Swan River cypress and King George's cypress pine, is a species of coniferous tree in the Cupressaceae. Like the other species in the genus Actinostrobus, it is endemic to southwestern Western Australia.

<i>Callitris columellaris</i> species of plant

Callitris columellaris is a species of coniferous tree in the family Cupressaceae, native to most of Australia. Common names include White Cypress-pine, Murray River Cypress-pine, and Northern Cypress-pine. Callitris columellaris has been naturalised in Hawaii and in southern Florida.

The Arboretum de Villardebelle is an arboretum specializing in conifers located in Villardebelle, Aude, Languedoc-Roussillon, France.


  1. κυπάρισσος, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus Digital Library
  2. "Online Etymology Dictionary".
  3. Pauw, C.A.; Linder, H.P. (1997). "Widdringtonia systematics, ecology and conservation status". Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 123: 297–319.
  4. Thomas, P.; Yang, Y.; Farjon, A.; Nguyen, D. & Liao, W. (2011). "Glyptostrobus pensilis". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species . IUCN. 2011: e.T32312A9695181. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2011-2.RLTS.T32312A9695181.en . Retrieved 9 January 2018.
  5. 1 2 Farjon, A. (2005). Monograph of Cupressaceae and Sciadopitys. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. ISBN   1-84246-068-4.
  6. "Actinostrobus". Flora of Australia Online. Department of the Environment and Heritage, Australian Government.
  7. "Callitris". Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.
  8. "Chamaecyparis". Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Famlies.
  9. Conifer Specialist Group (1998). "Fokienia hodginsii". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2006. International Union for Conservation of Nature.
  10. Hogan, C. Michael; Frankis, Michael P. (2009). "Monterey Cypress: Cupressus macrocarpa".
  11. "Cupressus nootkatensis". PLANTS Database. United States Department of Agriculture; Natural Resources Conservation Service. 2015.