The Gymnosperm Database


Foliage from a tree in the Sacramento Capitol Arboretum [C.J. Earle].


Cone-bearing branchlet with leaves and seed cones [Li Aili] (Fu et al. 1999).


Branchlet with leaves, and seed [Li Aili] (Fu et al. 1999).


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Conservation status

Cupressus funebris

Endlicher 1847

Common names

Chinese weeping cypress, bai mu bai mu [Chinese] (Fu et al. 1999).

Taxonomic notes

Syn: Chamaecyparis funebris (Endl.) Franco, Cupressus funebris var. gracilis Carriere (Fu et al. 1999). It is currently regarded as a Cupressus species, with typical two-year cone maturation and resin composition similar to other Asiatic species of Cupressus (Rushforth 1987). It is closely related to C. torulosa and C. cashmeriana, which also bear foliage in a flat single plane.


Tree to 35 m tall and 200 cm dbh. Bark smooth, brown. Branches more or less horizontal or directed upwards. Branchlets arranged in a plane, pendulous, green, slender, flattened, ca. 1 mm wide. Leaves light green or gray green, densely appressed, scalelike, dimorphic, 1-1.5 mm long, apex sharply pointed; facial pairs with a linear abaxial gland; lateral pairs folded face-to-face, overlapping basal part of facial pairs, ridged abaxially. Juvenile foliage, often long-retained in cultivation , soft blue-green leaves 4-7 mm long in whorls of 2 or 4. Pollen cones ellipsoid or ovoid, 2.5-5 mm; microsporophylls 10-14. Seed cones dark brown when ripe, globose, 8-15 mm in diameter, on short petioles; cone scales 6-8(-12), 5-angular, each fertile scale with 3-5(or 6) seeds. Seeds light brown, lustrous, obovate-rhombic or suborbicular, flattened, 2.5-3.5 mm. Cotyledons 2. Pollination Mar-May, seed maturity May-Jun. 2n = 22 (Rushforth 1987, Fu et al. 1999, M.P. Frankis pers. comm. 1999.02.03).

Distribution and Ecology

Vietnam (Rushforth 1987) and China: Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, N Guangdong, N Guangxi, E Guizhou, Henan, W Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Yunnan, Zhejiang; also widely cultivated in S China. Below 2,000 m elevation (Fu et al. 1999). Hardy to Zone 8 (cold hardiness limit between -12.1°C and -6.7°C) (Bannister and Neuner 2001).

Listed (as Chamaecyparis funebris) as threatened in Vietnam by the World Conservation Monitoring Centre.

Big tree


Planted trees said to be 800 years old grow at Black Dragon Pool Mountain Temple near Kunming, Yunnan, China (International Dendrology Society, 1995 Year Book).






See also

Farjon (2005) provides a detailed account, with illustrations.

Luu and Thomas 2004 provides a more recent description, range map, conservation status, drawings and photos, and a wealth of additional information.

This page co-edited with M.P. Frankis, 1999.02.

Last Modified 2017-12-29