The leaves of the cypresses are scale-like, overlapping and generally in four rows; the female catkins are roundish, and fewer than the male; the cones consist of from six to ten peltate woody scales, which end in a curved point, and open when the seeds are ripe; the seeds are numerous and winged.
Among the ancients it was in request for poles, rafters, joists, and for the construction of winepresses, tables and musical instruments; and on that account was so valuable that a plantation of cypresses was considered a sufficient dowry for a daughter.
Other Californian cypresses are C. macrocarpa, the Monterey cypress, which is 60 ft.
The canals between these clusters of houses were deepened and cleared out, and in some cases trees were planted along the banks, or fondamenta; we hear of the cypresses on San Giorgio Maggiore, of an ancient mulberry tree at San Salvadore, of a great elder tree near the Procuratie Vecchie where the magistrates were wont to tie their horses.
Forty-six species occur, namely, 32 species of pitch trees (18 pines), 12 species of the cypresses and their allies (2 sequoia), and 2 species of yews or their allies.
It stands in a large open space and is approached by an avenue of cypresses and eucalyptus.
On the mound grow cypresses, acacias, what is called " the crystal tree," said not to be elsewhere found, and the Achillea, the plant whose stalks were employed in ancient times for purposes of divination.
The cypresses afford instances of tall and narrow trees similar in habit to Lombardy poplars.
In addition to the foliage-leaves several genera also possess scale-leaves of various kinds, represented by budscales in Pinus, Picea, &c., which frequently persist for a time at the base of a young shoot which has pushed its way through the yielding cap of protecting scales, while in some conifers the bud-scales adhere together, and after being torn near the base are carried up by the growing axis as a thin brown cap. The cypresses, araucarias and some other genera have no true bud-scales; in some species, e.g.
Cupressoides, &c. (also Polycladus cupressinus, a Composite), and some of the cypresses and other conifers with small appressed leaves.