The mountain cypress or bergsapree in Afrikaans often does not quite achieve tree status, although specimens of about 7 m tall of this African speciality still exist. Its habitat is rocky places on mountain slopes, often at higher altitude. Growing on mountains from the Cape all along the south and east coasts of South Africa, the remaining sizable trees are these days only found in the Chimanimani district of Zimbabwe and further northwards. This picture was taken in Fernkloof near Hermanus.
Young leaves are needle-like and spiralling. Older ones lose their light green colour, becoming darker and scale-like, usually pressed against the branchlets. The bigger spherical cones (like the ones in picture here) are the female ones.
The idea of planting one in a big container to provide the annual Christmas tree merits support (Coates Palgrave, 2002; www.plantzafrica.com).