Trees to 25 m tall and 80 cm dbh. Crown conical when young, rounded or broadly domed when old. Branches slender and horizontal, densely arranged; branchlets spreading or drooping but not pendulous, thin, ultimate ones 4-angled, 0.8-1 mm in diameter. Leaves closely appressed, slightly glaucous abaxially, 1-2 mm long on ultimate branchlets, ridged or gibbous with an (often inconspicuous) abaxial gland, base long decurrent on leading branchlets, apex acute or slightly obtuse. Pollen cones subglobose or oblong, (4-)5-7 mm; microsporophylls (12-)16-20. Seed cones dark brown or purplish brown when ripe, glaucous, globose, 15-32 mm in diameter; cone scales (6-)8-10, each fertile scale with numerous seeds. Seeds brown or purplish brown, 3-5 mm, with 3 ridges. 2n = 22 (Fu et al. 1999). Cotyledons 2 (Vidakovic 1991). Note that the branchlets spreading in all directions, not in a single plane; and the shoots are very slender, the leaves very small; these features are helpful in distinguishing it from the otherwise similar C. sempervirens (Dallimore et al. 1967).
China: 1,400-3,300 m in mountains of ?Guizhou, SW Sichuan, C and NW Yunnan, and SE Xizang (Fu et al. 1999). Hardy to Zone 8 (cold hardiness limit between -12.1°C and -6.7°C) (Bannister and Neuner 2001).
A popular European ornamental (Vidakovic 1991).
Camus, A. 1914. Les Cyprès (Genre Cupressus), Encylopédie économique de Sylviculture. II., Paris, p. 91-93. http://www.cupressus.net/CUduclouxianaCamus.html at the Cupressus Conservation Project website, accessed 2007.01.01.
Farjon (2005) provides a detailed account, with illustrations.
Last Modified 2017-12-29