Cupressus lusitanica

plantation: Usambara, Tanzania


Common names: Cypress; Mexican cypress
Type of foliage:
Life expectancy: 160 years
Total weight of CO2 captured: 150 Kg
Height: 40 m


Cupressus lusitanica, the Mexican white cedar, is an evergreen conifer with a conic crown, reaching up to 40 m in height. Its dense, dark green foliage consists of scale-like leaves. Seed cones, initially green, mature to brown or grey-brown. Cones may open at maturity or after a wildfire, facilitating seed dispersal. Male cones release pollen in February–March. This species thrives in regions with summer-dominant rainfall.
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Usefulness of the tree

Cupressus lusitanica, although not native to Tanzania, has been introduced and cultivated globally, including in Tanzania. Its utility in the region includes timber production for construction and woodworking, erosion control due to its adaptable growth in different soil types, aesthetic value for landscaping, windbreaks and shelterbelts for crop protection, and its contribution to carbon sequestration, supporting environmental sustainability. Integrating this species into memorial tree planting can add both symbolic and practical significance.
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