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Piute Cypress
Hesperocyparis nevadensis
About Piute Cypress (Hesperocyparis nevadensis) 0 Nurseries Carry This Plant Cupressus nevadensis, now reclassified as 'Hesperocyparis nevadensis, with the common name Paiute cypress, is a species of cypress tree native to a small area in Sierra Nevada of California, in the western United States. The Paiute cypress grows in a small area of the Southern Sierra Nevada, within Kern County, California and Tulare County. It is found on soils of granitic origin at altitudes of 3,000-6,000 feet (910-1,830 m). It is found in pinyon/juniper and oak/pine woodlands, chaparral, and closed-cone-cypress forest habitats. The largest grove composed primarily of the species is located south of the town of Bodfish in the Lake Isabella region. There are eight or so other populations of much smaller, scattered stands in the Southern Sierras. Hesperocyparis nevadensis is a medium-sized evergreen tree with a conic crown, growing to heights of 10-25 m (exceptionally to 39 m), and a trunk diameter of up to 0. 5 m (exceptionally to 1 m). The foliage grows in sparse, very fragrant, sprays varying from dull gray-green to glaucous blue-green in color. The leaves are scale-like, highly glandular, resinous and aromatic, 2-5 mm long, and produced on rounded (not flattened) shoots. The seed cones are globose to oblong, 25-55 mm long, with 6 or 8 (rarely 4 or 10) scales, green to brown at first, maturing gray or gray-brown about 20-24 months after pollination. The male cones are 3-5 mm long, and release pollen in February-March. The cones often remain closed for several years, only opening after the parent tree is killed in a wildfire, thereby allowing the seeds to colonize the bare ground exposed by the natural fire. Like most California cypress, it is a pyrophyte, heavily reliant on wildfire for its regeneration. Fire suppression policies of the past decades have severely limited reproduction of this fire dependent species. It is on the IUCN Red List as a vulnerable species.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Plant Type

32.8 - 128 ft tall


Wildlife Supported

Butterflies & moths hosted ( 4 likely * ) SHOW ALL

Landscaping Information
Natural Setting
Annual Precipitation: 10.7" - 33.2", Summer Precipitation: 0.39" - 1.29", Coldest Month: 37.0" - 50.9", Hottest Month: 56.2" - 74.7", Humidity: 3.49" - 23.96", Elevation: 2141" - 8078"

Alternative Names
Botanical Names: Cupressus nevadensis
Common Names: Paiute 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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