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Key to families | Table of families and genera

Specimen numbers are hyperlinked to records in the Consortium of California Herbaria data view where possible. Taxa are hyperlinked to entries in the Jepson Interchange via the "[Online Interchange]" link.


Large shrub, 1- or multi-trunked tree, often pyramidal in youth; monoecious. Stem: young shoots or branches generally cylindric (sometimes ± 4-angled or flat), generally in 3-dimensional clusters. Leaf: opposite, 4-ranked, of 1 kind, scale-like, closely appressed, overlapping. Pollen cone: terminal, 2–6.5 mm, 1.3–3 mm diam, generally yellow. Seed cone: 10–50 mm, woody, ± spheric to widely cylindric, maturing 2nd year, generally closed and attached beyond maturity (> 2 years); scales (4)6–12, peltate, abutting, shield- or wedge-shaped, projection generally > 1 mm especially 1st year, pointed, base level with or rising from edge. Seed: 60–150 per cone, flat, wings generally 2, vestigial; cotyledons generally 3–5.
16 species: western and central North America, Central America. (Greek: western cypress) [Adams & Bartel 2009 Phytologia 91:287–299; Adams et al. 2009 Phytologia 91:160–185; Little 2006 Syst Bot 31:461–480]
Unabridged references: [Bartel et al. 2003 Biochem Syst Ecol 31:693–702]

Key to Hesperocyparis

1. Ultimate 2 orders of shoots or branches in 1 plane; large shrub; resin copious, sticky when fresh ..... H. macnabiana

1' Ultimate 2 orders of shoots or branches in 3-dimensions; generally tree (except generally Hesperocyparis forbesii); resin not copious, not sticky

2. Leaf glands or pits on ultimate branches, resin on leaf glands 0 or not

3. Resin ± 0 on leaf glands on ultimate branches; Peninsular Ranges

4. Multi-trunked shrub to small tree; leaf not glaucous, foliage not gray-green ..... H. forbesii

4' Single-trunked tree; leaf glaucous, foliage gray-green ..... H. stephensonii

3' Resin generally on leaf glands on ultimate branches; n of Southwestern California

5. Ultimate branches < 1 mm diam; seed cones generally < 20 mm diam; Klamath Ranges, High Cascade Range, n High Sierra Nevada, Modoc Plateau ..... H. bakeri

5' Ultimate branches > 1 mm diam; seed cones generally > 20 mm diam; s Sierra Nevada ..... H. nevadensis

2' Leaf glands or pits ± 0 on ultimate branches, resin on leaf glands 0 (except Hesperocyparis sargentii in Santa Barbara Co.)

6. Crown asymmetric, often open, flat-topped to widely conic in age; seed cones 20–32(38) mm; outside native range widely planted, naturalized ..... H. macrocarpa

6' Crown symmetric, often dense, generally pyramidal in age; seed cones (10)12–27(35) mm; outside native range not widely planted, not naturalized

7. Foliage dull, dusty to gray-green, glaucous or not; on serpentine; North Coast Ranges, San Francisco Bay Area, South Coast Ranges ..... H. sargentii

7' Foliage bright to dark green, not glaucous; not on serpentine; North Coast, Central Coast, San Francisco Bay Area

8. Plant 1–2 m on sterile soil, 10–20(50) m on rich soil; foliage dark dull green; seed not glaucous; s North Coast (Mendocino, Sonoma cos.) ..... H. pygmaea

8' Plant 6–10(15) m; foliage yellow-green or light bright to deep green; seed glaucous or not; Central Coast, San Francisco Bay Area

9. Plant 5–7 m; seed cones (10)14–20 mm; ultimate branches 0.8–1.1 mm diam; Central Coast (Monterey Peninsula) ..... H. goveniana

9' Plant 6–10(15) m; seed cones 16–30(35) mm; ultimate branches 0.9–1.2 mm diam; San Francisco Bay Area (Santa Cruz Mtns) ..... H. abramsiana

10. Seed cones (14)16–25 mm, 14–22 mm diam; Santa Cruz Co. ..... var. abramsiana

10' Seed cones 22–32(35) mm, 22–31 mm diam; San Mateo Co. ..... var. butanoensis


Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) [year] Jepson eFlora, [accessed on month, day, year]
Citation for an individual treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] [year]. [Taxon name] in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, [URL for treatment]. Accessed on [month, day, year].
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