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Italian Cypress

Cupressus sempervirens var. stricta

Tuscan Cypress

About This Plant

Sun; evergreen. The classical Italian cypress grows like an exclamation point in the landscape. It’s useful as a specimen or along driveways; it can also be used to soften hard angles. In ideal circumstances and perfect well-drained soil conditions, it can tolerate hot, dry summers. However, these conditions are hit-or-miss in the San Antonio area, and even full-grown specimens suffer in extreme cold; many were lost in the extreme freezes of 2021.  

Origins: Eastern Mediterranean and western Asia.

Maintenance

Italian cypress suffers when drainage is poor; soil amendments like compost at the time of planting can help, especially in heavy clay soils, but long-term, preventing root rot requires avoiding excessive soil moisture. Avoid piling mulch and soil in direct contact with the trunk, and make sure to expose the root flare — this is part of the trunk, not the root, and should be exposed to air.

A Mediterranean plant with a dramatic effect.

Min. Height: 30'

Max Height: 40 feet'

Min. Width: 4'

Max Width: 6 feet'

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