Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Cupressus funebris Endl.

An evergreen, erect tree when young, becoming more open and pendulous with age, branches spreading and drooping, branchlets pendulous, with paired, overlapping, scale-like leaves, and small, spherical female cones.  To 15m.  [RHSD, Hortus, Hilliers’].

Horticultural & Botanical History

Cupressus funebris was introduced to Europe in 1849.  [JD].  ‘Two of the most interesting plants, interesting especially to the lovers of arboriculture, among those detected by Mr. Fortune, during his present second visit to the north of China, are most assuredly the Cupressus funebris, Endl. (C. pendula, Staunton and Lambert, not of Thunberg), and the subject of the present plate [Cephalotaxus Fortuni].  Messrs. Standish and Noble, of the Bagshot Nursery, are the fortunate possessors of young plants of both, and have already found them to be perfectly hardy in this climate.  Both were found by Mr. Fortune two hundred miles north of Shang-see. […] To judge of the graceful character of the Funereal Cypress, one has but to look at Tab. 41 of the Atlas of Plates accompanying Lord Macartney’s Embassy to China, where we learn that in the north of China it is the tree used to adorn cemeteries.’  [BM t.4499/1850].

History at Camden Park

Listed in he 1850 and 1857 catalogues [C.26/1850].  There are mature specimens of this tree in the gardens today so it is perhaps the most likely possibility.


See also Cupressus lusitanica Mill.

Cupressus pendula Griff. (1848) = Cupressus torulosa D.Don. which see.

Cupressus pendula Abel. (1784) = Thuja orientalis L. which see.

Published Aug 01, 2009 - 01:07 PM | Last updated Jul 16, 2010 - 04:58 PM

Family Cupressaceae
Region of origin


  • Cupressus cashmeriana Royle ex Carrière
  • Cupressus pendula Staunton and Lambert
  • Chamaecyparis funebris (Engl.) Franco
  • Platycyparis funebris (Endl.) A.V.Bobrov & Melikyan
Common Name

Mourning cypress, Funeral cypress, Chinese weeping cypress

Name in the Camden Park Record

Cupressus pendula

Confidence level medium