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Chamaecyparis lawsoniana

Higher Taxonomy
Family: CupressaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: 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 pl, 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. Chromosomes: n=11.
Genera In Family: 30 genera, 130+ species: +- worldwide, especially North America, Eurasia. Note: Incl (paraphyletic) Taxodiaceae. Taxa of (polyphyletic) Cupressus in TJM (1993) now in Callitropsis, Chamaecyparis, Hesperocyparis.
eFlora Treatment Author: Jim A. Bartel, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: ChamaecyparisView Description 

Habit: Single-trunked tree, pyramidal in youth; monoecious. Stem: young shoots flat, in drooping or pendent clusters, in 1 plane. Leaf: opposite, 4-ranked, scale-like, overlapping, of 2 kinds (facials smaller, appressed, laterals with tips spreading above facials). Pollen Cone: terminal. Seed Cone: 5--14 mm, woody, +- spheric to widely cylindric, maturing 1st year, open at maturity; scales 8--12, peltate, abutting, shield- or wedge-shaped, projection generally present, <= 1 mm, pointed, base depressed from edge. Seed: (1)2--5(7) per scale, flat, wings 2, narrow; cotyledons 2. Chromosomes: n=11.
Etymology: (Greek: dwarf or on-the-ground cypress)
Reference: Farjon 2005 Monograph Cupressaceae Sciadopitys. RBG, Kew
Chamaecyparis lawsoniana (A. Murray bis) Parl.
Habit: Tree 20--65 m. Stem: trunk < 6 m diam; bark 15--25 cm thick, red-brown to tan, fibrous, fire-resistant; young shoots flat, in flat clusters, held +- horizontally, lower surfaces often paler. Leaf: green, generally glaucous; glands generally visible; lateral leaf tips generally curved toward stem axis. Pollen Cone: yellow-green, becoming dark red to purple black. Seed Cone: 6--11 mm, spheric, red-brown; scales 7--10, projection +- 0. Seed: 2--5 per scale, 2--4 mm, generally with wart-like pitch pockets, light chestnut-brown, generally glandular.
Ecology: Coastal conifer, mixed-evergreen, yellow-pine forests, often on serpentine; Elevation: < 1700 m. Bioregional Distribution: KR; Distribution Outside California: southwestern Oregon.
Synonyms: Cupressus lawsoniana A. Murray bis
Jepson eFlora Author: Jim A. Bartel
Reference: Farjon 2005 Monograph Cupressaceae Sciadopitys. RBG, Kew
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Botanical illustration including Chamaecyparis lawsoniana

botanical illustration including Chamaecyparis lawsoniana


Citation for this treatment: Jim A. Bartel 2012, Chamaecyparis lawsoniana, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 01, 2022.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2022, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 01, 2022.

Chamaecyparis lawsoniana
click for enlargement
© 2020 Neal Kramer
Chamaecyparis lawsoniana
click for enlargement
© 2020 Neal Kramer
Chamaecyparis lawsoniana
click for enlargement
© 2008 Keir Morse
Chamaecyparis lawsoniana
click for enlargement
© 2008 Keir Morse
Chamaecyparis lawsoniana
click for enlargement
© 2008 Keir Morse
Chamaecyparis lawsoniana
click for enlargement
© 2020 Neal Kramer

More photos of Chamaecyparis lawsoniana in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Chamaecyparis lawsoniana:
1. You can change the display of the base map layer control box in the upper right-hand corner.
2. County and Jepson Region polygons can be turned off and on using the check boxes.
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).


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).