Cupressus sempervirens 'Swane's Gold' / Swane's Gold Italian cypress

Cupressus sempervirens 'Swane's Gold' is a densely branched, narrowly upright selection of Italian cypress with fastigiate branching and attractive golden foliage that assumes a bit of an orange-ish cast in winter in colder climates. In the landscape, it effectively creates the effect of a golden exclamation point — an exceptional focal point.

After 10 years of growth, a mature specimen will measure 10 (3 m) feet tall and 1 foot (30 cm) wide, an annual growth rate of 1 foot (30 cm) or more. Be aware that this selection is not as hardy as many other conifers within this species, observed to suffer winter burn in USDA Zone 8a or colder. Despite the golden color, it performs well in full sun and well-drained xeric conditions.

This cultivar originated as a seedling sourced from Cupressus sempervirens 'Stricta' at Swane Brothers' Nursery, New South Wales, Australia. Swane's selected and named the plant in 1944 and introduced it to the trade in 1956. It was patented in the U.S. under Plant Patent #3839P.

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Cupressus sempervirens 'Swane's Gold' in a formal landscape in the United Kingdom.
Photo by Duchy of Conwall Nursery, Inc.
Cupressus sempervirens 'Swane's Gold' — a closeup of foliage detail.
Photo by Xera Plants, Inc.

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