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Macnab's Cypress
Hesperocyparis macnabiana
About Macnab's Cypress (Hesperocyparis macnabiana) Nurseries Show All Photos Cupressus macnabiana (MacNab Cypress or Shasta Cypress) is a species of cypress endemic to northern California. It is one of the most widely distributed of all the native California cypresses, found growing in chaparral, oak woodlands and coniferous woodlands along the inner northern Coast Ranges and the foothills of the northern Sierra Nevada. It is an evergreen shrub or small tree, 3-12 meter (rarely to 17 meter) tall, with a spreading crown that is often broader than it is tall. The foliage is produced in dense, short flat sprays (unlike most other California cypresses, which do not have flattened sprays), bright waxy pale gray-green in color, with a strong spicy-resinous scent. The leaves are scale-like, 1-2 millimeter long with an acute tip, and a conspicuous white resin gland on the center of the leaf. Young seedlings produce needle-like leaves up to 10 millimeter long in their first year.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
9.8 - 39.4 ft (3 - 12 m)


Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Dry slopes and flats

Sun, Part Shade

Elevation ?
1' - 4728'

Annual Precip. ?
13.2" - 65.2"

Summer Precip. ?
0.24" - 1.47"

Coldest Month ?
33.8° F - 52.1° F

Hottest Month ?
60.5° F - 78.6° F

Humidity ?
1.16 vpd - 24.33 vpd

Soil Description
Tolerates sand and clay often with a rocky substrate

Fast, Medium, Slow

Sunset Zones ?
4, 5, 6, 7*, 14, 15*, 16*, 17, 18*, 19, 20, 21*, 22, 23, 24

Landscaping Information
Water Requirement ?
Very Low
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Common uses
Bank Stabilization, Deer Resistant

Nursery Availability
Sometimes Available

Other Names
Botanical Names
Cupressus macnabiana

Common Names
Mcnab's Cypress

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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