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Cupressus cashmeriana (Bhutan cypress, Kashmir cypress, weeping cypress; Dzongkha language: Tsenden) is a species of cypress native to the eastern Himalaya in Bhutan and adjacent areas of Arunachal Pradesh in northeastern India. It is also introduced in China and Nepal. It grows at moderately high altitudes of 1,250–2,800 metres (4,100–9,190 ft).
Cupressus cashmeriana is a medium-sized to large coniferous tree growing 20–45 metres (66–148 ft) tall, rarely much more, with a trunk up to 3 metres (9.8 ft) diameter. The foliage grows in strongly pendulous sprays of blue-green, very slender, flattened shoots. The leaves are scale-like, 1–2 mm long, up to 5 mm long on strong lead shoots; young trees up to about 5 years old have juvenile foliage with soft needle-like leaves 3–8 mm long.
The seed cones are ovoid, 10–21 mm long and 10–19 mm broad, with 8–12 scales, dark green, maturing dark brown about 24 months after pollination. The cones open at maturity to shed the seed. The pollen cones are 3–5 mm long, and release pollen in early spring.
A tree of 95 metres (312 ft) tall has recently been reported, but the measurements await verification.
Symbolism and uses
The Bhutan cypress is the official national tree of Bhutan, where it is often associated with Buddhist religious places. It has been widely planted around Vihara monasteries and Buddhist temples there for centuries.
Cupressus cashmeriana is widely grown horticulturally as an ornamental tree, both within its native region and internationally in temperate climates. It is planted in private gardens and public parks. Many of the plants available outside of its native range are named cultivars, selected for particular forms, textures, or foliage colours, such as very pendulous branching or shoots, a fastigate or columnar shape, or a particularly bright blue or silvery glaucous foliage.
The natural populations of this species are fragmented. There are few occurrences and they contain few large individuals. Cypress wood is in demand locally.
- Zhang, D. & T. Christian. 2013. Cupressus cashmeriana. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. Downloaded on 27 July 2013.
- Cupressus cashmeriana. The Gymnosperm Database.
- Farjon, A. (2005). Monograph of Cupressaceae and Sciadopitys. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. ISBN 1-84246-068-4
- "RHS Plant Selector - Cupressus cashmeriana". Retrieved 13 July 2013.
- "AGM Plants - Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 22. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
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