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 lusitanica Mill. var. benthamii (Endl.) Carrière

For a description of the type see Cupressus lusitanica Mill.  The variety benthamii is an evergreen, narrowly conical tree in which the branchlets are flattened, giving a fern-like appearance, with fissured brown bark, bright green leaves, to 3mm long, and spherical blue, then brown female cones, to 1.5cm across.  To 20m.  [RHSD, Hortus, Hilliers'].

Horticultural & Botanical History

Introduced to England in 1836. [JD].  ‘Cupressus benthami, Endlicher, Synopsis Conif. (1847) p.59.’  Synonyms given include C. sempervirens mexicana Pavon.  This may be the source of the somewhat misleading name of “Cupressus sempervirens – thurifera” given by Macarthur.  ‘C. sempervirens L., of the Old World, is said to be cultivated in Mexico.’  [Contributions from the United States National Herbarium – Trees and Shrubs of Mexico v.23 part 1, p.62/1920].

Cupressus thurifera (Schlechtendahl); Found near Anganguco and Tlalpuxahua, forming a tree 50 to 60 feet high.  [BR misc.101, p.64/1839].

History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1850 and 1857 catalogues [C.29/1850].  Probably obtained from Loddiges’ in 1844.  In a letter to Loddiges’ nursery dated 6th January 1845, thanking them for the latest delivery, Macarthur commented that the Cupressus thurifera was a great acquisition, although it was still included in a list of desiderata in the same letter.  [MP A2933-2, p.28].  It may have been received earlier as Cupressus thurifera was included in a consignment of plants sent from Kew by John Bidwill in November 1834 [AJCP].


See also Cupressus uhdeana Gord. ex Carrière.

Published Aug 01, 2009 - 02:16 PM | Last updated Sep 05, 2011 - 05:20 PM

Family Cupressaceae
Region of origin

Central America

  • Cupressus thurifera H.B.&K.
  • Cupressus uhdeana Gord. ex Carrière
  • Cupressus benthamii Endl.


Common Name

Cedar of Goa, Mexican cypress

Name in the Camden Park Record

Cupressus sempervirens – thurifera

Confidence level medium