by Stephen Mifsud
   29 Jan 2023      ()
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Cupressus sempervirens   (Italian Cypress)

Cupressus sempervirens  (CUPRESSACEAE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands after year 2000.

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Profile Date Oct-2007 (taxon update: none)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (2022). Cupressus sempervirens - datasheet created on Oct-2007. Retrieved from on 29-Jan-2023

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Cupressus sempervirensL.
Published in Sp. Pl. 1002 (1753)

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

Cupressus pyramidalis O.Targ.Tozz.
Full list of synonyms : [Euro+Med] [PlantList] [IPNI] [POWO] [Catalogue of Life] []

Plant Family :

Cupressaceae Barlett (The Cypress Family)
5 species from the Cupressaceae family are recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :

Italian Cypress, Mediterranean Cypress

Maltese name(s) :

Ċipress, Ċipress kannella

Status for Malta :

Naturalised Alien. Species that was introduced in Malta after year 1492 (Columbus' discovery of the New World) and spreads and integrates to form established, non-invasive populations. Species may become become invasive if it widespreads rapidly.

Frequency :

Very Common     Common    Frequent     Scarce     Rare    Very rare    Extinct

Growth form :

Raunkiaer lifeform [info]: Macro-Phanerophyte ( high trees usually over 10 m high )
Germination [info]: Dicotyledon

Legal Protection :

Protected by law: Schedule I of legal notice [S.L. 549.123] (Strictly protected tree species)

Red List (1989) :

Not listed in the Red Data Book of the Maltese Islands

Flowering Time :

All year

Colour of Flowers:



Not particularly toxic

Name Derivation :


Planting in rural areas :

Can be planted in rural areas according to ERA Guidelines

Description, Habitat and Distribution
Habitat in Europe: Forest (and parks)
Preferred habitat in Malta: Widely planted and often naturalised
Botanical Description: Tree up to 30 m. Leaves 0.5-1 mm, dark green, obtuse. Male cone 4-8 mm; female 25-40 mm, ellipsoid-oblong (rarely globose), green when young and shining yellowish-grey when ripe, with 8-14 shortly and obtusely mucronate scales. Seeds 8-20 on each scale.
Distributional range: Native in Kriti and perhaps elsewhere in the E. Mediterranean. Planted throughout S. Europe, and naturalized in many districts

Distributional map in Europe
and the Mediterranean region (2018):
Occurrences in Europe.
(from Flora Europaea pre year 1993):
Crete, Greece, Introduced in Albania, the Balaeric Islands, Bulgaria, Corse, France (incl. Monaco and Channel Islands but excluding Corse), Switzerland, Spain (incl. Andorra but excl. the Balaerics), Italy (excl. Sicily and Sardignia), ex-Jugoslavia, Portugal, Russia and former USSR, Sardinia, Sicily and/or Malta, Turkey (European part)
Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(from Euro+Med Checklist, 2019)
  Country codes  
AE(G) Cr Cy dGr Ir Jo Le Li Sy dTn Tu(A) [cAb cAg nAl Bl cBl(M) Bu cCa Ca(G H) aCg Co cCt Ga(F) He Hs cHs(S) It nJu cLu cMa cRm cSa Si(M S) cTcs Tu(E) Uk(K)]

Links & Further literature (0 papers)

Google Web

Google Images

Google Scholar

Research Gate




Med Checklist

Cat. of Life



World Flora Online

Plants of the World Online

Vienna Virt. Herb.

RBGE Herbarium

KEW Herbarium




Kindly Email if there are papers and publications about local studies or information about this species to be included in the list above.

Species Images (10 images)
   Cupressus sempervirens   -   Image Code: CUPSV-0.
   Cupressus sempervirens   -   Image Code: CUPSV-1.
   Cupressus sempervirens   -   Image Code: CUPSV-2.
   Cupressus sempervirens   -   Image Code: CUPSV-3.
   Cupressus sempervirens   -   Image Code: CUPSV-4.
   Cupressus sempervirens   -   Image Code: CUPSV-5.
   Cupressus sempervirens   -   Image Code: CUPSV-6.
   Cupressus sempervirens   -   Image Code: CUPSV-7.
   Cupressus sempervirens   -   Image Code: CUPSV-8.
   Cupressus sempervirens   -   Image Code: CUPSV-9.

Buy Seeds and Docs
Sales of seeds of wild plants for academic studies, research or personal use. Note that not all species seeds can be exported - depending on Maltese regulations and CITES, and availability depends on season. You are hence kindly requested to first fill and submit a quotation form by which you will get confirmation of the purchase, availability and charges. Currently local orders are not taken.   Online Quotation (Seeds)

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Section B:   Where have you seen this plant on the Maltese Islands?
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