Cupressus macrocarpa Hartw. ex Gord.
Cupressaceae (Cypress Family)
USDA Symbol: CUMA2
USDA Native Status:
An artistic, horizontally-branched tree growing 30-50 ft., sometimes taller. Conical in youth, the tree becomes broad and spreading with age. Medium-sized evergreen tree with large cones and with symmetrical crown when young or where protected; often becoming irregular and flat-topped when exposed to high winds. Soft-textured, dark-green needles are scale-like and flattened against the branchlets; the overall effect is like a braided bullwhip.
The gnarled, picturesque Monterey Cypresses growing on sea cliffs are a favorite photographic subject. The 2 native groves are protected within Point Lobos Reserve and Del Monte Forest at Point Cypress. It is widely planted as an ornamental, hedge, and windbreak along the California coastline and grown in forest plantations for timber in South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia.
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Bloom InformationBloom Color: Brown
Bloom Notes: Pollen cones and seed cones.
Native Distribution: Monterey Peninsula, CA
Native Habitat: Exposed headland & dry places
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Sun
Soil Description: Well-drained soil.
Conditions Comments: Tremendously susceptible to a canker that kills the tree, especially if it is planted away from cool, coastal breezes. Tolerant of salt spray. Older trees are drought-tolerant.
PropagationDescription: Stratified seeds will germinate at 72 degrees. The percent of viable seed is often low.
Seed Collection: Most cypresses have seratiunous cones that can hang on the trees for several years without opening. Cone should be collected by cutting them from the limbs. They can be opened by boiling for 30-60 seconds.
Seed Treatment: Cool-moist stratify for 30 days at 34 degrees.
Commercially Avail: yes
Find Seed or Plants
Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
Recommended Species Lists
Find native plant species by state. Each list contains commercially available species suitable for gardens and planned landscapes. Once you have selected a collection, you can browse the collection or search within it using the combination search.View Recommended Species page
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Cupressus macrocarpa in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Cupressus macrocarpa in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Cupressus macrocarpa
MetadataRecord Modified: 2012-09-26
Research By: TWC Staff