Cupressus lusitanica


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Cupressus lusitanica
Species Authority: Mill.
Infra-specific Taxa Assessed:
Common Name/s:
English Mexican Cypress, Cedar of Goa
Spanish Cedro Blanco, Cedro, Cedro Blanco del Deserto, Ciprés
Cupressus lindleyi Klotzsch ex Endl.
Hesperocyparis lusitanica (Mill.) Bartel
Taxonomic Notes: Two varieties are recognized for the IUCN Red List. The typical variety has a wide distribution from the Sierra Madre Occidental in Mexico south as far as Nicaragua. The second variety, var. benthamii, has a more limited distribution in southern Mexico. The epithet “lusitanica” [from Portugal] refers to the cultivated tree that provided the type specimen. This tree originated from Mexico.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2011-05-10
Assessor/s: Farjon, A.
Reviewer/s: Thomas, P.
The great extent of occurrence of this species and its abundance in some forests places it well outside a category of threat.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Mexico: from the Sierra Madre Occidental and S.M. Oriental down to Chiapas; highlands of Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua.
Belize; El Salvador; Guatemala; Honduras; Mexico; Nicaragua
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This extremely widespread species is undoubtedly subject to logging and deforestation in several areas, but may also regenerate and invade secondary forest, so that  it is unclear whether it is decreasing or increasing in total.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Forming pure, dense stands or scattered in mixed montane conifer forest or pine forest, also in pine-oak forest and woodland, associated with Abies spp., Pinus ayacahuite, P. hartwegii, P. maximinoi, P. montezumae, P. patula, P. pseudostrobus, Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca, Juniperus spp., Quercus spp., Alnus spp., Clethra sp., Persea sp. and ericaceous and theaceous undershrubs; in disturbed (grazed) woodland with Arbutus sp., Baccharis sp., Buddleia sp., and Leucena sp. This species occurs on various usually nutrient-poor rocky soils over limestone or various igneous rocks; it is also spreading in scrub on rocky slopes or cliffs in canyons. The altitudinal range of this species is from ca. 1000 m to nearly 4000 m a.s.l.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is undoubtedly subjected to logging and deforestation in certain parts of its range; however, it may also be increasing elsewhere as it is capable of expanding in secondary forest.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This widespread species is present in numerous protected areas.
Citation: Farjon, A. 2013. Cupressus lusitanica. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <>. Downloaded on 20 April 2014.
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