Note: Information is dated. Do not rely on it.Cypress. A genus of coniferous trees. The common European cypress is a dark colored evergreen with extremely small leaves entirely covering the branches. It has a quadrangular, or, where the top branches diminish in length, pyramidal shape. Cypress trees, though of a somewhat somber and gloomy appearance, may be used with great effect in shrubberies and gardens. They are much valued also on account of their wood, which is hard, compact, and very durable, of a reddish color and a pleasant smell. It was used at funerals and as an emblem of mourning by the ancients. Among other members of the genus are the Indian cypress; the Cupressus funebris, a native of China and Japan; and the evergreen American cypress or white cedar. The deciduous cypress of the United States and Mexico is frequently called the bald cypress. Its timber is valuable, and under water is almost imperishable. In the southern part of the United States this cypress constitutes forests hundreds of miles in extent.