Italian 'Totem Pole' Cypress

Shade Full Sun, Partial Shade
Area Exposed Windy Areas
Soil Good, Well Drained, Acidic, Alkaline/Chalky
Type Evergreen, Pot Grown, Screening

Cupressus sempervirens Pyramidalis

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SIZES 1-2 3+
100/125 cm - Potted Stock = 16 £29.99Stock = 16 £25.00
  Prices include VAT(where applicable)

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Cupressus sempervirens 'Pyramidalis' (Stricta Group): Pot-Grown Italian Cypress

This narrow, upright, slow-growing evergreen is often compared to a pencil, exclamation mark or totem pole. It is mostly planted for its vertical architectural value, whether in rows, at the corners of formal geometric designs, or at the centre of swirling circular ones. It could be planted side by side as screening, but a Leyland Cypress is probably better if you want to make a solid hedge. Italian cypress looks its best clipped formally into a narrow tapering column to 6-7 metres tall, planted far enough apart to show off the individual trees. If left to their own devices, they can grow to 20 metres.

Browse all of our ornamental shrubs or hedging plants.

Delivery season: Cypresses are delivered in pots year round, when in stock. Bare-root delivery: only November-March.


  • Suitable for pots
  • Very narrow, pointy habit when young.
  • Ideal for maintaining as a neat cone to about 7 metres
  • Unmaintained trees get more cigar-shaped with age.
  • Height: 20m
  • Soil: Fertile, well drained
  • Evergreen
  • Wildlife friendly
  • Drought tolerant

Growing Italian Cypress

Any well-drained soil in full sun - avoid planting in waterlogged conditions. It will keep its neatest, most upright form in a fairly sheltered location with an annual trim to tidy straggly leaves; 6-7 metres is a good height to maintain with a pole-mounted electric trimmer or with a ladder and long-handled shears, which is the purists' method. Trim regularly from young to maintain structure. A hardy tree, it will also tolerate heat and drought.

In Your Garden Design

Italianate design has dominated the way we think about how gardens should look since the 16th century: create a formal backdrop against which a softer planting scheme can shine. Few plants symbolise the elegant and romantic concept of the dream Mediterranean garden like a clipped Cypress, standing out as a tall, sophisticated punctuation mark in so many of Italy's classic gardens, paired with box and other formal hedging plants. Soften with rosemary bushes, or blue-flowering nepeta.

Many garden designers, such as Italian-born Arabella Lennox-Boyd and Somerset legend Penelope Hobhouse, who created a garden for the Queen Mother at Walmer Castle and worked with Audrey Hepburn, cite Italian garden design as their major influence.

Good news, everyone: this look can be recreated in your own patch of green at home, small or large, giving you something tall and evergreen to look at year round! Use C. Pyramidalis to line driveways, paths, pool areas and patios to create year-round definition; it is excellent at hiding drain pipes and other less attractive essential elements, and is slim enough to work in small spaces.

Did You Know?

The Italian cypress has been declared a top tree to add to a property's value in America. Research doesn't show whether the same rule applies in the UK but certainly having a tidy, well-maintained front garden is regarded as a good selling point, according to the Home Owners' Alliance.

  • Small Box

    Small boxes

    (Orders containing seedlings or rooted cuttings)


    including VAT per order

  • Small box

    (All barerooted plants under 1.2 metres in height. Please note: all trees are charged at the trees and hedging rate.)


    including VAT per order

  • Medium box

    (Any pots up to
    and incl. 7.5L)


    including VAT per order

  • Trees & Hedging

    (For all orders of trees of any size, and all bareroot plants 1.2 metres and over in height)


    including VAT per order

  • Pallets

    (For all orders of root balls,
    and large orders, a pallet
    price will be automatically
    applied at checkout)


    including VAT per order

*Delivery to mainland Britain & the Isle of Wight ONLY. Surcharges to the Isle of Wight and some areas of Scotland apply.

Bareroot planting is best done between November and April
Bareroot and potted - what's the difference?

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