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MacNab Cypress Cupressus macnabiana


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Family: Cupressaceae, Cypress view all from this family

Description Evergreen shrub or small tree, tall with a spreading crown that is often broader than it is tall. Foliage produced in dense, short flat sprays (unlike most other California cypresses, which do not have flattened sprays), bright glaucous gray-green in color, with a strong spicy-resinous scent. Leaves scale-like, 1-2 mm long with an acute apex, and a conspicuous white resin gland on the center of the leaf. Young seedlings produce needle-like leaves up to 10 mm long in their first year.

The seed cones are oblong-ovoid to cuboid, 15-25 mm long and 13-20 mm broad, with six (rarely four or eight) scales, each scale bearing a prominent umbo; they are strongly serotinous, not opening to release the seeds until the parent tree is killed by wildfire. This enables heavy seed release to colonize bare, fire-cleared ground. The pollen cones are 3-4 mm long, and release their pollen in the fall.

Dimensions Height: 3–12 metres (9.8–39 ft), rarely to 17 metres (56 f)
Diameter: 0.3 m (1 ft).

Habitat Mountains, Scrub, shrub & brushlands.

Range California.

Discussion Cupressus macnabiana is one of the most widely distributed of all the native California cypresses.