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Cupressus dupreziana var. atlantica

Cupressus dupreziana  var. atlantica
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Product Information

Scientific name:Cupressus dupreziana var. atlantica  (Gaussen) Silba  1998

Synonyms: Cupressus atlantica Gaussen, Cupressus dupreziana subsp. atlantica (Gaussen) Silba, Cupressus sempervirens var. atlantica (Gaussen) Silba    

Common names: Atlas cypress, Moroccan cypress, Cyprès de l'Atlas (French)



Trees to 20(-35) m tall; monopodial; trunk to 2-3 m in diameter. Bark eventually becoming thick, deeply fissured, hard, grey-brown, exfoliating slowly in small strips. Branches long, spreading or ascending, sometimes fastigiated, forming a conical or pyramidal, or in old trees sympodial, irregular and broad, dense crown. Foliage branches spreading or drooping-pendulous, slender, ultimate branchlets irregularly spreading or (sub)pendulous, subterete to slightly flattened in cross section, 1-1.5(-2) mm diam., slightly torose,  persistent. Leaves covering branchlets decussate, imbricate, decurrent, (nearly) monomorphic, scale-like, with facials equal in size to laterals, on ultimate branchlets 1-1.2 mm long and rhombic, slightly gibbous, with appressed obtuse or acute apex (on whip shoots up to 5 mm long); margins minutely denticulate-hyaline; glands on all scale leaves (most conspicuous on facials; stomata few, scattered primarily on margins near leaf bases;  scale leaves blue-green with light wax and resin from active glands. Pollen cones solitary and terminal on ultimate branchlets, ovoid-oblong, 4-6 × 2-3 mm; microsporophylls 12-16, decussate, peltate, bearing 3-4 abaxial pollen sacs near the lower margin. Seed cones 1.8-2.2 cm long, with three to five pairs of scales. Seeds 6-8(-10) on each scale, closely packed, flattened, 5-6 × 4-5 mm, dark brown with whitish hilum at base; wings 2 on opposite sides, more or less equal in size and shape, 1-2 mm wide.

This variety is endemic to Morocco in the Region of Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz and the Province of Marrakech. The precise area is located in the Oued n'Fiss Valley 60 km south of Marakech, between Tizi-n-Test road, south of Asni. In total there are 8 sites (Bellefontaine 1979) which together represent a single location. The current actual area of occupancy is estimated to be 14.58 km² (Achhal 1986) while the extent of occurrence, based on recent herbarium specimens from across its known range, is 40 km²; 1,000-2,200 m.


Conservation Status

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered

(Cupressus dupreziana var atlantica has undergone a recent decline of 73% over a 36 year period (1950-1986: Achhal 1986) in the area of occupancy. This decline is sufficient for an assessment of Endangered under A2 criteria. However, the estimated current extent of occurrence is 40 km2 which is within the 100 km2 threshold for Critically Endangered under the B1 criteria. It is known from a single location where the primary threat across that range comes from overgrazing and an associated lack of regeneration. Secondary threats include over-collection of seed. In addition, there is a continuing decline in the quality of habitat and the number of mature individuals. According to IUCN guidelines, the highest category of threat should be used and therefore an assessment of Critically Endangered is warranted)



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 CodeCUPF9KGT70
Weight1.5 kg
Height20 - 30 cm

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