Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Pinopsida Pinales Cupressaceae

Scientific Name: Cupressus torulosa var. torulosa
Parent Species:
Common Name(s):
English Himalayan Cypress
Taxonomic Source(s): Farjon, A. 2010. A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2010-12-13
Assessor(s): Qin, H.-n., Christian, T. & Zhang, D
Reviewer(s): Farjon, A. & Thomas, P.

The area of occupancy (AOO) cannot be reliably estimated due to the lack of detailed knowledge of the species’ occurrence in areas where it is indigenous.  The species has an extent of occurrence (EOO) of over 5 million km2, though with a significant gap in the distribution between central Nepal and SE Tibet. Based on the data available, it is not possible to justify the Near Threatened category as none of the criteria are met in whole or in part for the category of Vulnerable. It is therefore assessed as Least Concern.

Previously published Red List assessments:
1998 Lower Risk/near threatened (LR/nt)
1998 Rare (R)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Himalaya: from the Indus (or N Pakistan?) to the Brahmaputra; China: SE Xizang  [Tibet].
Countries occurrence:
Bhutan; China (Tibet [or Xizang]); India (Jammu-Kashmir, Sikkim); Nepal
Lower elevation limit (metres): 1560
Upper elevation limit (metres): 3670
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population trend is unknown.
Current Population Trend: Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: In the Himalaya, Cupressus torulosa is a codominant with Juniperus in the dry inner valleys and semi-arid high mountain environments towards the Tibetan side of the main range, where this open forest or woodland type occupies S-facing slopes. The altitudinal range is 1560-3670 m a.s.l. Annual precipitation does not exceed 300 mm, most of which falls in summer and autumn. North of the Himalaya, in the Tibetan valleys that drain south through the Himalaya chain or north and east into the Zhangbo system, conditions are too dry, but eastwards along the Zhangbo River downstream from Gyangze C. torulosa is again found in isolated stands. Here we also find C. torulosa var. gigantea which is perhaps a xeromorphic form of C. torulosa (S. Miehe pers. comm. May 2001, who claims to have seen both forms growing together).
Systems: Terrestrial
Generation Length (years): 15-20

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: As of all Cupressaceae in Asia, the wood of this species is valued for many uses, primarily to do with its durability (rot resistance). Traditionally it has been used for the construction of Buddhist temples and religious wood carving. Accessible stands are rare and in these straight trees have often been removed long ago. This species has been introduced in various countries in Asia, either as an amenity tree in temple grounds and monasteries or later as a plantation forestry tree. It is also used in horticulture, especially in southern Europe, where it is well established in larger gardens and parks. A limited number of cultivars is known of this species.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Logging (historic and current) is inferred in the paragraph under Use and Trade.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Known wild origin material is cultivated in botanic gardens in the British Isles.

Citation: Qin, H.-n., Christian, T. & Zhang, D. 2013. Cupressus torulosa var. torulosa. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T191576A1989653. . Downloaded on 06 October 2015.
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