A small genus of 24 species and a slightly larger number of cultivars, which are not to be confused with another genus of cypresses: Chamaecyparis, evergreen conifers that are frequently grown in gardens and parks. On the whole cupressus eventually grow to be tall, some up to 30m (100ft), and so are really only for the larger garden. However, some of the cultivars are much smaller and grow to only 4-5m (12-15ft), making them suitable for small- to medium-sized gardens, but it is important to check their ultimate size.
Most of these cypresses grow in a conical shape, a few more narrowly into a columnar shape. C. macrocarpa (Monterey cypress) can be used as a hedge or a taller screen. If used as the former it should be trimmed each spring, but do not cut back into old wood. Most are handsome trees and can be used as specimen plants. They will grow in most soils as long as it is free-draining and not waterlogged. Plant in full sun, but preferably in a site sheltered from strong and cold winds. Increase from seed or from semi-ripe cuttings taken in summer.