Chamaecyparis funebris

Mourning Cypress

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In Stock: 1.73 lb (Total:1.73lb)
  • Chamaecyparis funebris

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1.73 lb


Germination test:
Cut (Full Seed)
Seeds per lb:
1.73 lb
Collected in:
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Min. hardiness zone:
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Growing Info

Scarification: Soak in water, let stand in water for 24 hours
Stratification: cold stratify for 30 days
Germination: surface sow and keep moist, requires light for germination|sow seed 1/16" deep, tamp the soil, mulch the seed bed

Chamaecyparis funebris, commonly known as Mourning Cypress or Chinese Weeping Cypress, is a medium-sized coniferous tree that is native to southwestern and central China. It may also occur naturally in Vietnam. This tree can grow to be 20-35 meters tall, with a trunk up to 2 meters in diameter. The foliage of the Mourning Cypress grows in dense, usually moderately decumbent and pendulous sprays of bright green, very slender, slightly flattened shoots.

The leaves of the Mourning Cypress are scale-like, measuring 1-2 mm long, and up to 5 mm long on strong lead shoots. Young trees up to about 5-10 years old have juvenile foliage with soft needle-like leaves, measuring 3-8 mm long. The seed cones are globose, 8-15 mm long, with 6-10 scales (usually 8), green in color and maturing to dark brown about 24 months after pollination. The cones open at maturity to shed the seeds. The pollen cones are 3-5 mm long and release pollen in early spring.

The precise natural range of Chamaecyparis funebris is uncertain due to its long history of cultivation. However, it is recorded from forest habitats in the provinces of Guizhou, Hunan, and Chongqing in China. It also occurs in regions such as Anhui, Fujian, Guangxi, and Yunnan, typically planted around monasteries, temples, gardens, and public parks.

Cultivated as an ornamental tree due to its graciously weeping form and texture, the Mourning Cypress is popular in warm temperate regions like California. It is also used as a houseplant and conservatory tree in colder climates. The wood of this tree is hard, tough, white, durable, and close-grained, making it suitable for general construction and agricultural implements. The Mourning Cypress also has medicinal uses, with its antiperiodic leaf being used in the treatment of bleeding piles and excessive menstrual flow. A decoction of its fruiting branches is used to treat colds.

Chamaecyparis funebris prefers a well-drained loamy or peaty soil and is very tolerant of hot, dry conditions. It is known to tolerate poor sandy soils but is more susceptible to insect damage in a succession of dry seasons. This tree requires a sunny position and prefers a pH of 6 or lower. In colder regions like Britain, it may be somewhat tender and short-lived. The Mourning Cypress is cultivated as a timber crop in China.

In conclusion, Chamaecyparis funebris, or Mourning Cypress, is a beautiful and versatile tree with a weeping form that is highly valued as an ornamental plant. With its slender shoots, scale-like leaves, and unique cones, it adds a touch of elegance to gardens, public parks, and conservatories. The tree's hard, durable wood and medicinal properties further contribute to its cultural and practical significance.

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