Northwest Conifers


MacNab Cypress – Cupressus macnabiana Speaker



USGS Distribution Map

MacNab cypress is a rare, shrubby tree that seldomly grows higher than 50 feet ( 15 meters). 

Leaves: The tiny scaled leaves, which wrap around branchlets, are gray-green with gland dots that produce a white resin.

Cones: Up to 1" (2.5 cm), round with 6 or 8 scales, each with an erect conic point.  The cones often remain closed until a wildfire releases the seeds.

Bark: The brown bark is furrowed on large trunks.

Where it grows: Foothills of northern California. Also found at two locations in southwest Oregon (Tree on the map). See Cypress Species in Oregon by Frank Callahan.

Names: Named after James MacNab, curator of the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburg. Other names: Shasta cypress. Recently some have proposed removing North American cypresses from Cupressus and placing them in a new genus, Hesperocyparis. Others have argued for keeping North American cypresses in Cupressus. For more information, see The Gymnosperm Database.




© 2016 Ken Denniston