Cupressus atlantica

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Cupressus atlantica
Cupressus atlantica0.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales
Family: Cupressaceae
Genus: Cupressus
Species: C. atlantica
Binomial name
Cupressus atlantica
Gaussen
Synonyms
  • C. dupreziana var. atlantica (Gaussen) Silba

Cupressus atlantica, the Moroccan Cypress, is a rare coniferous tree endemic to the valley of the Oued n'Fiss river in the High Atlas Mountains south of Marrakech in western Morocco. The majority are old, with very little regeneration due to overgrazing by goats.

This species is distinct from the allied Cupressus sempervirens (Mediterranean Cypress) in its much bluer foliage with a white resin spot on each leaf, the smaller shoots often being flattened in a single plane. It also has smaller, globose cones, only 1.5-2.5 cm long. Cupressus dupreziana (Saharan Cypress) is more similar, and C. atlantica is treated as a variety of it (C. dupreziana var. atlantica) by some authors. Moroccan Cypress does not however share the unique reproductive system of male apomixis found in Saharan Cypress.

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