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Cupressus macnabiana

Cupressus macnabiana
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Product Information

Scientific name: Cupressus macnabiana A.Murray bis  1855

Synonyms: Callitropsis macnabiana (A.Murray bis) D.P.Little, Cupressus glandulosa Hook. ex Gord., Cupressus nabiana Mast., Hesperocyparis macnabiana (A.Murray) Bartel, Juniperus macnabiana Lawson ex Gordon, Neocupressus macnabiana (A.Murray bis) de Laub.    

Common names:MacNab cypress, Fragrant cypress, Shasta cypress



Shrubby tree to 10(-18) m tall, with trunk to 1.3 m in diameter, usually dividing near the base into three or more major diverging branches. Bark gray, rough, fibrous, to 2 cm thick, peeling in narrow, thin strips. Crown broad, irregular, with upwardly angled branches. Branchlets slightly four-sided, 0.5-1 mm in diameter, branching primarily from just two rows of leaves to from three-dimensional arrays of small frondlike, flattened sprays. Scale leaves on branchlets 1-1.5 mm long, grayish green with wax that becomes more prominent with age, the back with a conspicuous drop of dried resin in an open gland. Pollen cones 2-3 mm long, about 2 mm wide, with four to seven pairs of pollen scales, each with (three or) four or five pollen sacs. Seed cones nearly spherical or a little oblong, 1.5-2.5 cm long, grayish brown at maturity, generally not waxy, with three or four pairs of seed scales, each, particularly the upper pair, often with a strong, upcurved, conical point on the face that weathers away with age, the surface heavily wrinkled. Seeds 9-12 per scale, 2-5 mm long, the wings much narrower than the body, brown, sometimes slightly waxy, sometimes warty with resin pockets. Cotyledons (three or) four (or five).

Northern California. Scrublands and open pine-oak woodlands on dry slopes and ridges, often on serpentine soils; 300-850 m.


Conservation Status

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern

(This most common and abundant of the California cypresses has an area of occupancy no more than 200 km² due to the fact that it consists of around 30 “groves” of a few km² at the largest. Many are smaller. However, overall there seems to be no current decline in the population, so it is assessed as Least Concern)



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 CodeCUPDH0AN47

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