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Cuyamaca Cypress
Hesperocyparis stephensonii
About Cuyamaca Cypress (Hesperocyparis stephensonii) 6 Nurseries Carry This Plant Cupressus stephensonii is a species of conifer known as the Cuyamaca Cypress. It exists only in the headwaters of King Creek, south of Cuyamaca Peak in San Diego County, California. It was listed as a vulnerable species, but the last assessment occurred in 1998, before the entire world population of the tree was reduced to thirty or forty individuals by the 2003 Cedar Fire. Wolf reported trees as low as 3,000 feet in elevation but the presence of these individuals today has not been verified. Most individuals occur at 4,500 to 5,100 feet in King Creek Research Natural Area. Cupressus stephensonii may attain heights of 10 to 16 meter (33 to 52 feet). It usually forms a spreading tree with a central leader, only slightly taller than it is wide. Female cones about 10 millimeter in diameter, cone scales 6-8, but mostly 6, often, but not always, with conspicuous umbos 3-4 millimeter high and conical. Seeds average 100-125 per cone, not at all waxy pale. Cotyledons 3-4. It is the only California Cypress species to release pollen in the summertime.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Plant Type

32.8 - 52.5 ft tall

Wildlife Supported

Butterflies & moths hosted ( 10 likely * ) SHOW ALL

Landscaping Information
Part Shade


Soil Description
Soil Description
Soil PH: 5 - 7

Natural Setting
Annual Precipitation: 7.7" - 33.5", Summer Precipitation: 0.26" - 2.18", Coldest Month: 38.7" - 55.4", Hottest Month: 64.6" - 79.4", Humidity: 1.63" - 26.06", Elevation: 29" - 5980"

Alternative Names
Botanical Names: Cupressus stephensonii,Cupressus arizonica ssp. arizonica
Common Names: Arizona 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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