Cupressus goveniana var. goveniana 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Pinopsida Pinales Cupressaceae

Scientific Name: Cupressus goveniana var. goveniana
Parent Species:
Common Name(s):
English Gowen Cypress, North Coast Cypress, Mendocino Cypress, Dwarf Cypress, Pygmy Cypress, Santa Cruz Cypress
Callitropsis goveniana (Gordon) D.P.Little
Cupressus goveniana Gordon subspecies pigmaea (Lemmon) A.Camus
Cupressus goveniana Gordon variety pygmaea Lemmon [orth. error]
Hesperocyparis goveniana (Gordon) Bartel
Taxonomic Source(s): Farjon, A. 2010. A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.
Taxonomic Notes: On the IUCN Redlist, Cupressus goveniana subsp. pigmaea is considered to be an ecotype of C. goveniana var. goveniana. It is found on sterile hardpan soils: when the harpan is broken, or trees from those areas are grown under normal conditions, they grow normally.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B2ab(ii,iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2011-03-22
Assessor(s): Farjon, A.
Reviewer(s): Thomas, P.
This variety meets the B criterion for Endangered due to its limited area of occupancy (AOO) even when calculated with an enlarged grid width of 4 km due to missing map points in the northernmost subpopulation (formerly recognized as subsp. pigmaea). A continuing decline is suspected due to fire exclusion and indirect threats associated with urban developments.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2000 Vulnerable (VU)
1998 Endangered (E)
1998 Vulnerable (VU)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is found in the USA, in the Coast Ranges of central and northwestern California: Mendocino, Sonoma and Monterey Counties. Found in the following localities: 1) SW slope of Huckleberry Hill, Monterey Peninsula; 2) Cypress Point Pine Barrens, near a large water reservoir close to Seventeen Mile Drive; 3) A seaward hill slope near Gibson Creek, well above Point Lobos State Park road; 4) Canyon of Gibson Creek ca. 2 miles E of Point Lobos; 5) Pacific Grove, Monterey peninsula; 6) the "white plains" or "pine barrens" of Mendocino County (sometimes referred to as subsp. pigmaea).
Countries occurrence:
United States (California)
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2: 176
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Yes
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 5482
Number of Locations: 5
Lower elevation limit (metres): 1
Upper elevation limit (metres): 1200
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This nominate variety is known from less than 2,000 mature individuals scattered between about 10 subpopulations in 5 localities. It is unlikely that any of these subpopulations contains more than 250 mature individuals. The dwarf form can produce seed cones when only a few decimetres tall, but in very low quantities. Strictly speaking these are also mature individuals and if counted as such could increase these numbers.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals: 2000 Continuing decline of mature individuals: Yes
Extreme fluctuations: No Population severely fragmented: Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This variety grows in chaparral, in “pine barrens” [large stands of pines (Pinus spp.)], on sandstone outcrops, on white or yellow sandy slopes and on leached, sometimes sterile sandy “hardpan” which causes the dwarfed individuals (“pigmaea”). In some areas it is a component of closed-cone pine-cypress woodlands.
Systems: Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Yes
Generation Length (years): 30

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: It is used in southern Europe as an ornamental tree in gardens and parks.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

There are threats from development (urbanization, making and maintenance of golf courses, road building), erosion, invasive non-native species and agriculture. Altered fire regimes through fire suppression can favour Pinus spp. and could reduce the fecundity of mature cypress trees, which rely on fire for opening the cones and subsequent release of seeds.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

This variety occurs in S.F.B. Morse Botanical Reserve and Point Lobos Reserve (Monterey Co.) and outside reserves along the coast in Mendocino and NW Sonoma Counties. The S.F.B. Morse Botanical Reserve is located within the Gowen Cypress Planning Area in two parcels to the south and east of Congress Road. The S.F.B. Morse Botanical Reserve was established in 1972 to protect the endangered Gowen Cypress (sensu stricto), as well as other species or associations of species found only on the acidic clay-pan soils found in this area. This reserve is adjoined by the 372 acres of the Huckleberry Hill Natural Habitat Area.

This variety is listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, and has also been listed as Critically Imperilled on NatureServe database (NatureServe 2012).

Citation: Farjon, A. 2013. Cupressus goveniana var. goveniana. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T30918A2798514. . Downloaded on 29 November 2015.
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