Monterey cypress Cupressaceae Hesperocyparis
macrocarpa Hartw. ex Gord. symbol: HEMA22
Leaf: Evergreen, scale-like, blunt tipped, tight and crowded on the twig in opposite pairs resulting in a square twig, mostly lacking gland; bright green.
Flower: Species is monoecious; males are small, pale yellow-green at ends of branch tips, often in abundance; females small light green near branch tips.
Fruit: Dry, nearly round, woody, serotinous (open with fire) cones, 1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter, 8 to 12 scales usually with a small, raised point in center, initially glaucous and green but turning dull brown when mature; mature in two growing seasons and remain on branches for several years.
Twig: Stout (for cypress), square, covered in scale-like leaves, overall a thick, coarse texture.
Bark: Fibrous with shallow, irregular furrows, gray.
Form: A medium sized tree reaching up to 80 feet tall, with a straight, narrow crown when young but spreading dramatically with age. When found along the coast, the tree and crown are typically wind swept and very picturesque; however, when planted in protected areas the tree will grow straight with a much narrower crown.
Looks like: Arizona cypress - Tecate cypress - Baker cypress - Leyland cypress
Additional Range Information: Hesperocyparis macrocarpa is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting Monterey cypress.
External Links: USDAFS FEIS Silvics - USDA Plants Database - Horticulture Information
All material © 2018 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson; Silvics reprinted from Ag Handbook 654