Herb: Nootka Cypress
Latin name: Chamaecyparis nootkatensis
Synonyms: Cupressus nootkatensis, Thujopsis borealis
Family: Cupressaceae (Cypress Family)
Medicinal use of Nootka Cypress:The plant has been used in sweat baths for treating rheumatism and arthritis. An infusion of the branch tips has been used as a wash for sores and swellings. A poultice of the crushed leaves has been applied to sores. The soft bark has been used as a cover for poultices.
Description of the plant:
Habitat of the herb:Woodlands from sea-level to 1,000 metres. The best specimens are found in the deep soil of cool wet coastal forests.
Other uses of Nootka Cypress:Plants can be grown as a tall hedge They are very tolerant of clipping so long as this does not extend into the brown barked wood since trees cannot regenerate from this. Any trimming should be done in the summer. The fibre of the inner bark is fine and soft, it is pounded and spun then used for making blankets, clothing, capes, mats etc. Torn into pieces, it can be used as bandages or for washing babies. The finely shredded inner bark can be used as a tinder. Wood - hard, very durable, fragrant with an agreeable resinous odour, close grained, has low-shrinkage, is somewhat brittle, but does not splinter. Easily worked, it is used for carving, cabinet work, making boats, implements etc.
Propagation of the herb:Seed - sow March/April in a seedbed outdoors. The seed is best sown in pots in a frame. Seed can take 18 months to germinate. One month warm then one month cold stratification has produced good results. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter, planting them out in late spring after the last expected frosts. Cuttings in late summer or autumn in sandy soil in a cold frame. Difficult, it may be best done in late winter to early spring.
Cultivation of Nootka Cypress:Woodlands from sea-level to 1,000 metres. The best specimens are found in the deep soil of cool wet coastal forests.
Known hazards of Chamaecyparis nootkatensis:None known
Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.