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ciprés monterrey, Monterey cypress


Habit Trees to 25 m; crown generally broadly spreading, especially on exposed headlands, fairly sparse, often composed of few major limbs from near ground, more upright in sheltered locations. Trees or large shrubs evergreen.

rough, fibrous.


decussate, 1.5–2 mm diam.

terete or quadrangular, in decussate arrays (or partially comblike in Cupressus macnabiana).


without gland or sometimes with inconspicuous, shallow, pitlike, abaxial gland that does not produce drop of resin, not glaucous.

opposite in 4 ranks.

Adult leaves

appressed to divergent, scalelike, rhomboid, free portion of long-shoot leaves to 4 mm;

abaxial gland present or absent.

Pollen cones

4–6 × 2.5–3 mm;

pollen sacs 6–10.

with 4–10 pairs of sporophylls, each sporophyll with 3–10 pollen sacs.


cones oblong, 2.5–4 cm, grayish brown, not glaucous;

scales 4–6 pairs, smooth, umbo nearly flat at maturity.

cones maturing in 1–2 years, generally persisting closed many years or until opened by fire, globose or oblong, 1–4 cm;

scales persistent, 3–6 pairs, valvate, peltate, thick and woody.


= 11.


= 22.

Cupressus macrocarpa


Habitat Coastal bluffs
Elevation 5–35 m (0–100 ft)
from FNA
[WildflowerSearch map]
Warm north temperate regions
[BONAP county map]

The geographically most restricted taxon recognized here, Cupressus macrocarpa is confined today to two picturesque groves near Monterey, but it is also known from fossils to have been in other regions. It is much planted and commonly naturalized near the coast from central California north to Washington and in warm temperate and subtropical regions worldwide.

Of conservation concern.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

The genus Cupressus in North America consists mainly of small, disjunct, relictual populations, many differing from related populations in color and size of leaves and seeds, activity of leaf glands, glaucousness of various parts, form of growth, and characteristics of bark. Disagreements on the number and rank of taxa reflect these variations. This treatment, with seven taxa, approaches the more conservative end of a spectrum; anywhere from 6 to 15 taxa—species, subspecies, and varieties—might be accepted in the flora. The taxonomy of the genus would benefit from detailed studies of variation in and among populations (cf. J. F. Goggans and C. E. Posey 1968).

The Mediterranean Cupressus sempervirens Linnaeus, usually with a fastigiate habit, is commonly cultivated in California, often away from dwellings, but it does not appear to have become naturalized. Other introduced Eurasian and Mexican species are clearly associated with cultivated landscapes.

Species 10–26 (7 in the flora).

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

1. Most leaves with conspicuous, pitlike, abaxial gland.
→ 2
1. Most leaves without conspicuous, pitlike, abaxial gland, some with inconspicuous shallow or embedded gland.
→ 5
2. Branchlets comblike.
C. macnabiana
2. Branchlets decussate.
→ 3
3. Branchlets less than 1.3 mm diam.; seed cones mostly 1-2 cm, with scales covered with resin blisters; seeds 3-4 mm.
C. bakeri
3. Branchlets 1.3 mm diam. or more; seed cones mostly 2-3 cm, with scales smooth or with scattered resin blisters; seeds 4-6 mm.
→ 4
4. Leaves rarely resin-dotted; c coastal California.
C. sargentii
4. Leaves resin-dotted; interior s California to Texas.
C. arizonica
5. Seed cones 1-2.5(-3) cm.
→ 6
5. Seed cones (2-)2.5-4 cm.
→ 7
6. Leaves often glaucous; branchlets (1.5-)2-2.5 mm diam.; seeds 4-6 mm.
C. sargentii
6. Leaves not glaucous; branchlets 1-1.5 mm diam.; seeds 3-4(-5) mm.
C. goveniana
7. Seed cones oblong; bark fibrous, branchlets 1.5-2 mm diam.
C. macrocarpa
7. Seed cones globose; bark smooth, branchlets 1-1.5 mm diam.
guadalupensis var. forbesii
Source FNA vol. 2. FNA vol. 2.
Parent taxa Cupressaceae > Cupressus Cupressaceae
Sibling taxa
C. arizonica, C. bakeri, C. goveniana, C. guadalupensis, C. macnabiana, C. sargentii
Subordinate taxa
C. arizonica, C. bakeri, C. goveniana, C. guadalupensis var. forbesii, C. macnabiana, C. macrocarpa, C. sargentii
Name authority Hartweg: J. Hort. Soc. London 2: 187. (1847) Linnaeus: Sp. Pl. 2: 1002. 1753; Gen. Pl. ed. 5, 435, (1754)
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