Cupressus sempervirens ‘Blue Sky’, often referred to as the Blue Sky Italian Cypress, is a captivating cultivar of the well-known Italian Cypress tree. This variety offers unique coloration that sets it apart not only from other trees native to England but also from its traditional green counterpart.
The ‘Blue Sky’ cultivar of Italian Cypress shares the classic, columnar growth habit that’s a trademark of the species, resulting in a tall, slender silhouette. This tree typically reaches between 10 and 20 meters in height in a garden setting and maintains a narrow spread of about 1 to 1.5 meters. Its growth rate is moderate, with young trees potentially growing 30 cm or more per year under optimal conditions.
What differentiates ‘Blue Sky’ from the regular Italian Cypress is the remarkable color of its foliage. It boasts a silvery-blue to bluish-gray color that gives the tree a refreshing, cool appearance, especially under the sunlight. This unique coloration adds an exceptional visual appeal to any landscape design, offering a striking contrast against the traditional green of most trees found in England.
As an evergreen, ‘Blue Sky’ offers year-round color and structure to the garden, proving particularly impactful in the winter months when many other plants are dormant. It provides an elegant vertical accent, great for creating a sense of depth, division, or symmetry in the garden, or for adding height to smaller spaces.
Like the species, the ‘Blue Sky’ cultivar is monoecious, producing both male and female cones on the same tree. The small male cones produce pollen in late winter, while the female cones mature in about two years to release seeds.
The ‘Blue Sky’ Italian Cypress is hardy and has a similar lifespan to the species, which can reach several hundreds of years under the right conditions. However, as a cultivar, there are no known trees reaching such venerable ages yet.
In terms of wildlife, the ‘Blue Sky’ shares similar characteristics with the species. While it’s not native to the UK, the tree’s seeds can provide food for certain birds, and its dense foliage can offer shelter.
An interesting fact about the ‘Blue Sky’ cultivar is that, despite its Mediterranean origins, it’s proven to be quite hardy, capable of withstanding the variable climate conditions of the UK. However, it does prefer well-drained soils and full sun exposure to showcase its bluish foliage best.
In summary, the ‘Blue Sky’ Italian Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens ‘Blue Sky’) is an attractive and hardy tree. Its unique color, combined with the classic shape of the Italian Cypress, can create an extraordinary and captivating presence in a British garden, providing a sense of Mediterranean charm amid the local landscape.