A small, narrowly conical tree to about 10 m tall with ascending branches and long, highly ornamental drooping branchlets. Bark peeling in red plates. Branchlets arranged in one plane and the ultimate divisions compressed. Leaves about 1 mm long, a striking glaucous blue, spreading and with a white inner surface. Mature cones round, usually 1 cm wide, rarely to 2 cm, waxy blue when young; scales 10.
Generally considered the most ornamental of all the cypresses. Authorities believe, largely on the grounds of similar cones and absence of any sure records of this plant growing in the wild, that this is probably a juvenile variant of C. torulosa. Two variants may be seen at Yamina Rare Plants Nursery, Monbulk, Victoria (now closed). The earliest introduction has greener, smaller leaves and cones about 1 cm wide while a later introduction, though clearly the same species, has coarse leaves on longer, pale blue sprays with cones that are almost 2 cm wide. It is the blue-foliaged variant (possibly a hybrid) that is most widely cultivated in Australia. At Emerald Lake, Victoria, is a large mature tree with extremely long pendulous sprays and large cones. It has been known as C. torulosa but differs in many characters. It also differs quite clearly in cone and leaf characters from Chamaecyparis funebris and Cupressus cashmeriana. It is a magnificent ornamental tree whose identity remains uncertain.
Unknown in wild.
Long, pendulous sprays of fine, widespreading blue leaves; cones with 10 scales.
Silba (1987, 1990).
NSW: Mt Tomah (Bot. Gds); Orange (opposite St Joseph's Church). ACT: Yarralumla (Nsy ptd c. 1950). VIC: Bacchus Marsh (Entrance to Gibbons' Nsy); Dandenongs ('Pirianda'); Monbulk (Yamina Rare Plants Nursery conifer display); Wandin (Melbourne City Council Nursery).
Source: (1995). Cupressaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 1, Ferns, conifers & their allies. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.
Foliage stronger blue than in the species. A cultivar that has been in the trade for many years but of unknown origin.