Cupressus goveniana

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Cupressus goveniana

Imperiled (NatureServe)[2]
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Gymnosperms
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Cupressales
Family: Cupressaceae
Genus: Cupressus
C. goveniana
Binomial name
Cupressus goveniana
(Gordon) Bartel [3]
Cupressus goveniana range map 4.png
Natural range of Hesperocyparis goveniana (sensu stricto)
  • Hesperocyparis goveniana (Gordon) Bartel, current botanical name.[3]
  • Callitropsis goveniana (Gordon) D.P.Little
  • Cupressus aromatica Gordon
  • Cupressus attenuata Gordon
  • Cupressus bourgeauii Gordon
  • Cupressus californica Carrière
  • Cupressus cornuta Carrière
  • Cupressus goveniana Gordon
  • Cupressus pigmaea (Lemmon) Sarg.
  • Cupressus silbae B.Huang bis
  • Hesperocyparis pigmaea (Lemmon) Bartel
  • Juniperus aromatica Carrière
  • Neocupressus goveniana (Gordon) de Laub.

Cupressus goveniana, now reclassified as Hesperocyparis goveniana,[3][5][6] with the common names Californian cypress[7] and Gowen cypress,[6] is a species of cypress, that is endemic to California.


The tree is endemic to the Monterey Peninsula in coastal Monterey County, located on the Central Coast of California, in the Western United States.

The tree is found in small, scattered populations, and not in large forests of its species. Hesperocyparis goveniana occurs with Hesperocyparis macrocarpa (Monterey cypress), in the two groves where the Monterey cypress occurs naturally, in Monterey County.[8] Outside of California, Hesperocyparis goveniana has been introduced to Robinson Crusoe Island in Chile.[9]

It is on the IUCN Red List of endangered species.[1]


Hesperocyparis goveniana is an evergreen tree with a conic to ovoid-conic crown, very variable in size, with mature trees of under 1 m (3 ft 3 in) on some sites, to 50 m (160 ft) tall in ideal conditions.[5]

The foliage grows in dense sprays, dark green to somewhat yellow-green in color. The leaves are scale-like, 2–5 mm (0.08–0.20 in) long, and produced on rounded (not flattened) shoots.

The seed cones are globose to oblong, 11–22 mm (0.43–0.87 in) long, with 6 to 10 scales, green at first, maturing brown or gray-brown about 20–24 months after pollination. The cones remain closed for many years, only opening after the parent tree is killed in a wildfire, thereby allowing the seeds to colonize the bare ground exposed by the fire. The male cones are 3–5 mm (0.12–0.20 in) long, and release pollen in February/March.

Typically cones of H. goveniana are smaller than those of H. macrocarpa.


The varieties or subspecies, formerly included under Cupressus goveniana by some botanists, include:

  • Cupressus goveniana var. goveniana — reclassified as Hesperocyparis goveniana.
Monterey County, strictly coastal, within 3 km (1.9 mi) of the coast and below 200 m (660 ft) altitude. Foliage dark green, not rough, with leaf tips not spreading; cones globose.
Mendocino and Sonoma counties, coastal, within 10 km (6.2 mi) of the coast and below 500 m (1,600 ft) altitude.[11]
Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties, in the Santa Cruz Mountains 10–20 km (6.2–12.4 mi) inland and at 300–760 m (980–2,490 ft) altitude. With yellow–green foliage slightly rough-textured from the acute and slightly spreading leaf tips; cones often oval.[13]


  1. ^ a b Farjon, A. (2013). "Cupressus goveniana". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2013: e.T42219A2962566. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2013-1.RLTS.T42219A2962566.en. Retrieved 13 November 2021.
  2. ^ "NatureServe Explorer 2.0".
  3. ^ a b c "Hesperocyparis goveniana (Gordon) Bartel – Gowen cypress". Plants. USDA. Retrieved 2023-01-04.
  4. ^ The Plant List, Cupressus goveniana Gordon
  5. ^ a b "Hesperocyparis goveniana (Gordon) Bartel". Jepson eFlora: Taxon page. University of California, Berkeley. Retrieved 2023-01-04.
  6. ^ a b "Cupressus goveniana Gordon – (not an active name) – Gowen cypress". CalFlora. Retrieved 2023-01-04.
  7. ^ BSBI List 2007 (xls). Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 2015-06-26. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
  8. ^ Hogan, C. Michael; Frankis, Michael P. "Monterey Cypress (Cupressus macrocarpa)". Retrieved 25 December 2018.
  9. ^ Greimler, Josef; Lopez, Patricio; Stuessy, Tod F.; Dirnbiick, Thomas (July 2002). "The Vegetation of Robinson Crusoe Island (Isla Masatierra), Juan Fernandez Archipelago, Chile". Pacific Science. University of Hawai'i Press. 56 (3): 263-284 [277] – via Scholarspace.
  10. ^ Calflora Database: Hesperocyparis pygmaea
  11. ^ Gymnosperm Database: C. goveniana var. pygmaea (Hesperocyparis pygmaea)
  12. ^ CalFlora Database: Hesperocyparis abramsiana
  13. ^ Gymnosperm Database: C. goveniana var. abramsiana (Hesperocyparis abramsiana)

External links[edit]