Leyland Cypress - Cupressus x leylandii


A tall, fast growing evergreen conifer to a height of 35 feet. The cone of Leyland Cypress has a prominent conical protuberance. The scale-like leaves are produced at different angles on the stem.

Similar Species

Lawson and Nootka Cypress are commonly planted.  Other Cupressus, Juniperus and Thuja also have appressed scale like leaves in opposite pairs.  There are many Leyland Cypress cultivars and identification may be difficult.

Identification difficulty
ID guidance

Cupressus have globose cones with peltate scales (i.e. the stalk arises from the middle of the under surface rather than the base or margin of the scale).  Leyland's have a large spine on each scale (Lawson's is a small prickle) but this is also seen in Nootka.

The branchlets are usually spreading in 3 dimensions, but may be flattened (Nootka, with flattened branchlets, is one of the parent species; Monterey Cypress, with spreading branchlets, is the other).   Monterey has large cones, usually over >2cm; Leyland has small cones less than or equal to 2cm.

Recording advice

Photos of branchlets, showing whether spreading/flattened; photos of cones.


Usually found as a planted tree.

When to see it

All year round.

Life History

Evergreen conifer.

UK Status

Widespread and frequent in Britain as a planted tree.

VC55 Status

Commonly planted tree in Leicestershire and Rutland parks and gardens. It was not recorded in the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map

Species profile

Common names
Leyland Cypress
Species group:
Trees, Shrubs & Climbers
Records on NatureSpot:
First record:
18/01/2018 (Calow, Graham)
Last record:
26/01/2023 (Nicholls, David)

Total records by month

% of records within its species group

10km squares with records

The latest images and records displayed below include those awaiting verification checks so we cannot guarantee that every identification is correct. Once accepted, the record displays a green tick.

In the Latest Records section, click on the header to sort A-Z, and again to sort Z-A. Use the header boxes to filter the list.

Latest images

Latest records