Sunday, March 4, 2012

Gowen cypress ~ 03/04/12 ~ SFB Morse Botanical Reserve

yellow male pollen cones with brown female seed cones

female seed cones

Gowen cypress
Hesperocyparis goveniana (formerly Cupressus goveniana ssp. goveniana)
CNPS 8th Edition Inventory

When I first took pictures of these short-statured trees I thought, "Oh good, I can finally get close-up shots of a Monterey cypress (Hesperocyparis macrocarpa) for my blog, since they're usually too tall or perched on a cliff to take decent detailed pictures." Wrong? Maybe, maybe not? Gowen cypress is my best guess based on the CNPS plant list for SFB Morse Botanical Reserve, which does not include Monterey cypress. However, the female seed cones seemed bigger than described in Jepson compared to the larger Monterey cypress seed cones, but I'm aware visual perception can often be deceptive. I really should carry a ruler with me when I go hiking, since memory and photographs are proving to not be enough to distinguish species. I checked our neighbors' cypress trees, and there's quite a bit of variation outside of the reported dimensions. I guess theirs could be garden hybrids though. Erg. Come to find out the Gowen cypress is a federally threatened species. For more information about cypresses, check out Wayne's Word and Point Lobos Association.

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