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Cupressus goveniana

Cupressus goveniana
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Product Information

Scientific name: Cupressus goveniana G.Gordon  1849

Synonyms: Callitropsis goveniana (Gordon) D.P.Little, Cupressus aromatica Gordon, Cupressus attenuata Gordon, Cupressus bourgeauii Gordon, Cupressus californica Carrière, Cupressus cornuta Carrière, Cupressus pigmaea (Lemmon) Sarg., Cupressus silbae B.Huang bis, Hesperocyparis goveniana (Gordon) Bartel, Hesperocyparis pigmaea (Lemmon) Bartel, Juniperus aromatica Carrière, Neocupressus goveniana (Gordon) de Laub.      

Common names:Gowen cypress, North Coast cypress, Mendocino cypress, Dwarf cypress, Pygmy cypress, Santa Cruz cypress



Shrubby tree to 10 m tall, or rarely a large tree to 50 m, with trunk to 2 m in diameter, or with several small trunks from the base, or even just 1-2 cm in diameter when growing on hardpan soils. Bark reddish to grayish brown, thin, smooth to furrowed, fibrous. Crown sparse to dense, narrow to broad, with horizontal or upright branches. Branchlets cylindrical to slightly four-angled, 1-1.5 mm in diameter, branching from all four rows of leaves. Scale leaves of branchlets 1-2 mm long, bright or dark green to yellow-green, not conspicuously waxy, without a gland on the back, or with an inconspicuous, inactive one. Pollen cones 3-4 mm long, 1.5-2 mm wide, with (five or) six or seven (or eight) pairs of pollen scales, each with (three to) five or six pollen sacs. Seed cones spherical or slightly oblong, 1-2.5(-3) cm long, grayish brown at maturity, not waxy, with (three or) four or five pairs of seed scales, each usually fairly flat on the face, without prominent warts or wrinkles. Seeds 8-15 per scale, (2-)3-4(-5) mm long, brown to black, sometimes thinly waxy, occasionally with resin pockets, the wings thick and narrow. Cotyledons three or four (or five).

Coastal central California, discontinuously from southern Mendocino County to northern Monterey County. Forming groves or scattered in closed-cone pine forest or margins of redwood forest, often on sterile, sandy or hardpan soils; 60-800 m.


Conservation Status

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered

(The area of occupancy for the species is estimated as 180 km2, with severe fragmentation. The continuing decline in area of occupancy, extent of habitat and number of mature individuals lead to this species being assessed as 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 CodeCUPIHS7A10

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