Leyland cypress

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Leyland cypress

Scientific name: Cupressus x leylandii
The Leyland cypress, or 'Leylandii', is a notorious tree that has been widely planted for its fast-growing nature. It easily can get out of control, shading gardens at the expense of native plants.

Species information


Height: up to 40m

Conservation status

Introduced, non-native species.

When to see

January to December


The Leyland cypress, or 'Leylandii', is a large evergreen tree that is widely planted in parks and gardens as an ornamental species. It shows exceptionally rapid growth and has dense foliage - both factors that make it a popular hedging species.
However, it can quickly grow it excessive heights, blocking out light in gardens.

How to identify

A tall, fast-growing, evergreen tree, the Leyland cypress has red-grey bark, slender and flexible twigs, and scale-like, soft leaves that form flat 'sprays'. It produces small, round, brown cones.



Did you know?

The Leyland cypress is actually a cultivated hybrid - a sterile cross between the Monterey cypress and the Nootka cypress, both from North America.

How people can help

Our gardens are a vital resource for wildlife, providing corridors of green space between open countryside, allowing species to move about. In fact, the UK's gardens provide more space for nature than all the National Nature Reserves put together. So why not try planting native plants and trees to entice birds, mammals and invertebrates into your backyard? To find out more about encouraging wildlife into your garden, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there's plenty of facts and tips to get you started.