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Jim A. Bartel, except as noted

Shrub, tree, generally evergreen; monoecious or dioecious. Leaf: simple, cauline, alternate or opposite (either ± 4-ranked) or whorled in 3s (6-ranked), linear or scale-, awl- or needle-like (sometimes linear and awl-like on 1 plant, or on juvenile or injured plants), generally decurrent, covering young stems. Pollen cone: axillary or terminal. Seed cone: ± fleshy to generally woody, generally hard at maturity; scales opposite or whorled, peltate or not. Seed: 1–many per scale, angled or lateral winged, generally wind-dispersed.
30 genera, 130+ species: ± worldwide, especially North America, Eurasia. [Farjon 2005 Monogr Cupressaceae Sciadopitys. RBG, Kew] Incl (paraphyletic) Taxodiaceae. Taxa of (polyphyletic) Cupressus in TJM (1993) now in Callitropsis, Chamaecyparis, Hesperocyparis. —Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.

Key to Cupressaceae


1 sp. (Greek: resembling Callitris) [Debreczy et al. 2009 Phytologia 91:140–159; Little 2006 Syst Bot 31:461–480] Callitropsis Oerst. probably will not be available for use in plant names after 2012, when Xanthocyparis or another genus name probably will be needed for Callitropsis nootkatensis; all other California taxa formerly in Callitropsis (and before that, in TJM (1993), in Cupressus) are here included in Hesperocyparis Bartel & R.A. Price.
Unabridged references: [Bartel et al. 2003 Biochem Syst Ecol 31:693–702]
Unabridged note: The genus name Xanthocyparis Farjon & Hiep has been proposed for conservation against Callitropsis Oerst. by a vote of the Nomenclature Committee for Vascular Plants (Brummitt 2007 Taxon 56: 1290–1291), and if the vote is ratified at the next Botanical Congress in Melbourne in 2012, either Xanthocyparis or another genus name would be needed for Callitropsis nootkatensis; all other California taxa formerly in Callitropsis (and before that, in TJM (1993), in Cupressus) have been transferred to the new genus Hesperocyparis Bartel & R.A. Price and it is in that genus that these taxa are to be treated in TJM2.

C. nootkatensis (D. Don) D.P. Little ALASKA CEDAR
Tree 20–30 m, pyramidal in youth. Stem: ultimate 3 orders of shoots in 2-dimensional, pendent clusters; bark fibrous, fissured, peeling, orange-red to gray-brown to purple-brown; ultimate branches 1.1–1.8 mm diam, ± 4-sided to flat. Leaf: opposite, 4-ranked, of 2 kinds, both scale-like, closely appressed, overlapping, green, not glaucous; glands generally obscure; lateral leaf tips generally parallel to axis of attachment or diverging. Pollen cone: terminal, 2.4–4 mm, 1.3–2.6 mm diam, generally yellow. Seed cone: 6–12 mm, spheric, ash-gray; scales generally 4–6; maturing 2nd year, opening, falling at maturity. Seed: < 15 per cone, 3–4.6 mm, brown to red-brown, not glaucous, flat, wings generally 2, vestigial, attachment inconspicuous; cotyledons 2.
Cool, moist, forested, well-drained mountain slopes; 20–2500 m. Klamath Ranges (Del Norte, Siskiyou cos.); to Alaska. [Callitropsis nootkatensis (D. Don) Oerst. ex Florin, nom. inval.; Callitropsis nootkatensis (D. Don) Oerst., nom. inval.; Chamaecyparis nootkatensis (D. Don) Spach; Cupressus nootkatensis D. Don; Xanthocyparis nootkatensis (D. Don) Farjon & D.K. Harder, superfl.] [Online Interchange] {CNPS list}
Unabridged note: Expanded author citation: Callitropsis nootkatensis (D. Don) Florin ex D.P. Little

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 28 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Callitropsis, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 28 2015

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Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Callitropsis nootkatensis Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.