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Hesperocyparis goveniana

Hesperocyparis goveniana (Gordon) Bartel

Gowen Cypress

Cupressaceae (Cypress Family)

Synonym(s): Callitropsis goveniana, Cupressus goveniana, Cupressus goveniana ssp. goveniana, Neocupressus goveniana

USDA Symbol: HEGO3

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Usually a shrubby tree to 15-20 ft. with a spread of 6-12 ft. The dark green foliage bears a slight lemony scent. The smooth, gray bark becomes rough and fibrous on old trees.


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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Fruit Type: Cone
Size Notes: Up to about 150 feet tall in ideal conditions. Usually much shorter.
Fruit: Though technically incorrect, the seed cones are often referred to as berries.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Brown
Bloom Notes: Bloom color refers to mature pollen cones and seed cones.


Native Distribution: Monterey Co., CA
Native Habitat: Dry, rocky, coastal slopes

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Poor, dry soils.
Conditions Comments: A tough plant, surviving where little else will grow.


Description: 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

Web Reference

Webref 30 - Calflora (2018) Calflora
Webref 37 - Calscape (2019) California Native Plant Society
Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.

Additional resources

USDA: Find Hesperocyparis goveniana in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Hesperocyparis goveniana in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Hesperocyparis goveniana


Record Modified: 2023-03-23
Research By: TWC Staff

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