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Cupressus arizonica var. stephensonii

Cupressus arizonica var. stephensonii
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Product Information

Scientific name: Cupressus arizonica var. stephensonii  (C.B.Wolf) E.Little  1966

Synonyms: Callitropsis stephensonii (C.B.Wolf) D.P.Little, Cupressus stephensonii C.B.Wolf, Hesperocyparis stephensonii (C.B.Wolf) Bartel

Common names:Cuyamaca cypress



Tree to 10-16 m tall, with trunk to 0.6(-0.8) m in diameter. Bark of trunk smooth and flaking, red or reddish brown. Crown dense, conical, broadening with age. Branchlets four-sided, 1.5-2 mm in diameter, branching from all four rows of leaves. Scale leaves on branchlets 1-2 mm long, dark green or gray-green with wax, the edges minutely toothed, the back usually with a conspicuous drop of dried resin in an open gland. Pollen cones 2-4 mm long, about 2 mm wide, with (8-)10-12(-14) pairs of pollen scales, each with three to five pollen sacs. Seed cones spherical or a little elongated, (1-)2-2.5 cm long, gray or brown at maturity, often waxy before this, with three or four (to six) pairs of seed scales, each usually with a strong conical point on the face, especially on the upper scales, the surface otherwise smooth or warty. Seeds (4-)5-8 mm long, light to dark brown, and red-brown, sometimes with a thin to dense waxy coating or with resin pockets, or both. Cotyledons three to five (or six).

Cuyamaca Mountains, San Diego County, California, and Sierra de Juárez, northern Baja California (Mexico); (900-)1,400-1,600 m.


Conservation Status

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered

(There are two subpopulations, one in Alta California (USA) and one in Baja California (Mexico). The one in the USA has experienced two devastating fires since 1950, reducing the number of mature trees by 90% or more. The other subpopulation in Mexico has also been subject to fires, but no population numbers are known. Regeneration is occurring after fire, but it is slow and when fires become more frequent, may not be successful without careful management, hence this results in extreme fluctuations in population size. This management is now undertaken in the USA but, as far as we know, not (yet) in Mexico. This variety meets the criteria for listing as Critically Endangered)



Farjon, A. (2010). A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.

Eckenwalder, J.E. (2009) Conifers of the World: The Complete Reference. Timber Press, Portland.

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. Cambridge, UK /Gland, Switzerland


Copyright © Aljos Farjon, James E. Eckenwalder, IUCN, Conifers Garden. All rights reserved.

Product CodeCUPPUWF621

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