Theodore Payne California Native Plant Database




Cupressus forbesii

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Species Name: Cupressus forbesii
Common Name: Tecate Cypress

Stunning red peeling bark; takes heat, smog, drought, and poor soils. Recommended for dry gardens and slopes as tall hedge or windbreak. Endangered by urban development throughout its range. Rare outside California.

Plant Family: Cupressaceae
Plant Type: Tree
Height by Width: 10- 20' H x 10-15' W
Growth Habit: Multi-trunked and shrubby
Deciduous/Evergreen: Evergreen
Growth Rate: Fast
Sun Exposure: Full sun
Soil Preference: Adaptable
Water Requirements: Drought-tolerant to moderate
Cold Hardy to: 15 degrees F
Flower Season: Cones
Flower Color: Cones
Endangered?: List1B/RED 3-3-2
Distribution: Western Peninsular Ranges, Northern Baja CA.
Natural Habitat: Closed-cone coniferous forest, chaparral. Elevation: 4500'

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History
  • Introduced into cultivation in California by Theodore Payne.
  • From California Native Plants, Theodore Payne's 1941 catalog: "A beautiful cypress from the mountains of Orange and San Diego Counties, offered by us for the first time in 1935. Of very rapid growth, 15 to 30 feet high, with smooth cherry-like bark and fine, green or gray green foliage. This tree has attracted quite a lot of attention of late. In experimental plantings conducted by the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden during the past 7 or 8 years, this tree to date has proved immune to the cypress fungus (Coyneum cardinale) which has caused so much trouble to the Monterey Cypress of late years. Gallon cans, 35c; 5 gallon cans, $1.50."
Other Names
References
  • Bornstein, Carol, David Fross, and Bart O'Brien. California Native Plants for the Garden. Los Olivos, CA: Cachuma Press. 2005.
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