The Mediterranean Cypress is the classic fastigiate dark green conifer frequently planted in our Mediterranean landscapes. Most trees you see in the Algarve are young, the majority planted in the last 30 years. This is a tree that could grow to 20–25 metres high and live for more than 300 years, some trees are reported to be over 1,000 years old. It's a very tough, fast-growing, long-lived tree, it can tolerate a wide range of soil and climatic conditions such as drought and even temperatures down to -20 C. Its ability to develop an extensive root system and regenerate its foliage, if damaged, gives the tree good fire resistance when exposed to wildfires, a true survivor even in the harshest conditions.
The trees we offer are Cupressus sempervirens and are grown from seed from selected parents (those that resemble the typical Italian Cypress shape), however there will be some variation from plant to plant. This is usually acceptable, and in our opinion desirable, unless where they are planted in a hedge or shelter belt, one horizontal type tree amongst many pyramid type trees will stick out like a sore thumb. When young all the various types can be difficult to tell apart, but if you see seed cones on a small tree, it is likely to be of grafted origin as the seed grown trees do not produce cones for about 10–12 years.
Although the common names are geographical, such as the Italian cypress, Tuscan cypress, Persian cypress, to name a few, it is native to the whole eastern mediterranean basin, through to western Syria, Israel and western Jordan. The species name sempervirens comes from the Latin for 'evergreen' and there are two "types" or forms of the tree, fastigiate and horizontal. By horizontal, we mean the typical mountain Cypress form, with a wider triangular crown. Science suggests that the horizontal form will predate human activity, whereas the fastigiate form has a horticultural origin dating to early historic or prehistoric times. There are no subspecies or true varieties and the vast majority of the trees in cultivation are selected cultivars with a fastigiate crown, with erect branches forming a narrow to very narrow crown, often less than a tenth as wide as the tree is tall. C. sempervirens is the true species form, and all other forms are found in the old Cultivar Group - Cupressus sempervirens. var. pyramidalis (syn. var. fastigiata, var. Stricta, var. Totem, etc). all with the familiar tall pencil-like form.
We also offer the cloned 'pyramidalis' forms as 'Totem' and 'Stricta' - these will be propagated by vegetative cuttings and/or grafted onto selected Cupressus rootstock, and they are clones of the parent tree. They should not be variable, unless their parentage is accidentally mixed up somewhere in their production. Having said all this, many of the typical 'Tuscan Cypress' forms you see are in fact pruned regularly and the branches are often tied back into the main trunk to control their shape, they don't just come out of the box like this, a lot of work goes into trimming them up, both in the landscape and in the nursery production.
We are a plant nursery in the Algarve specialising in dry mediterranean species. We propagate and grow our own stock in conditions they are likely to endure when they are planted out.
We grow plants that are adapted to the dry land conditions in Portugal and southern Spain, both mediterranean perennials and succulents.
We choose plants that require very little water and maintenance. We produce a range of dry land plants that are typical of the worlds mediterranean regions. These are available to order ready for planting in the wetter months of the year. Please order the plants you need and we’ll have them ready at the best time for planting.
To ensure your new plants adapt and establish quickly, we produce them in special anti-spiral root pruning containers and a range of fibre pots (no plastic waste) with our own tried and tested growing media.
Please note we have no retail outlet or garden centre and are not open to the public. For more information you can contact us here.
Plantas adaptadas à seca - produzimos plantas adaptadas às condições de Portugal e Sul de Espanha, tanto espécies mediterrânicas como suculentas.
Oferecemos uma gama de espécies típicas das zonas climáticas mediterrânicas em todo o mundo.