Himalayan Cypress   
Foto info
Himalayan Cypress
Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Himalayan Cypress, Bhutan Cypress • Nepali: राज सल्लो Raj sallo
Botanical name: Cupressus torulosa    Family: Cupressaceae (Cypress family)
Synonyms: Cupressus tongmaiensis

Himalayan Cypress is probably the only species of Cupressus indigenous to India. It is an elegant, evergreen tree 15-25 m tall. Crown is large oval to broadly conical. Bark is thick, grey brown or brown, peeling off in longitudinal strips. Branches are slender, drooping, with thin, whip-like tips. Branchlets are cylindrical, nearly quadrangular, branching in whorls. Shoots lie in a single plane. Leaves are scale-like, closely pressed along the shoots, blunt, dark green. Male cones are nearly spherical, 5-6 mm across. Female cones are spherical or elliptic, grouped on very short stalks, 1-2 cm across, hanging at the end of shoots, bluish when young, later turning dark brown, composed of 6-8 scales, with a small central depression. Seeds are 6-8 to each scale, red-brown. Wood is pale yellow with pale brown heartwood, hard and durable. Wood is also burnt in temples and homes for incense. Himalayan Cypress is found in the Himalayas, from Himachal Pradesh to Centeral Nepal, at altitudes of 1800-3300 m. Flowering: February-March.

Photographed in Lahaul, HP & Munnar, Kerala.
• Is this flower misidentified? If yes,