Cupressus  nevadensis

L. R. Abrams, Torreya, 1919, Vo. 19, p. 92.


Cupressus nevadensis sp. nov.


     Small tree attaining a maximum height of 20-25 m. and a diameter of 6-8 dm., with spreading branches forming a broadly conical crown. Bark fibrous, longitudinally fissured, 15-25 cm. thick, reddish brown within, weathering light gray-brown on the exposed surface. Leaves light green and somewhat glaucous, closely imbricated on the slender distinctly 4-angled branchlets, 1.5 mm. broad, sharply acute and keeled, with a conspicuous active dorsal resin duct. Cones solitary or clustered, broadly oblong to subglobose, 20-25 mm. long about 20 mm. broad, light gray with a brown undertone; scales 6-8, rugosely roughened with the wrinkles converging at the umbo, the upper lateral longer than broad and acute at the upper angle; umbose on the lateral scales near the apex, scarcely pointed, those of the upper pair elevated and pointed; seeds numerous, 4-5 mm. long, light brown tinged with purple and somewhat glaucous, rugosely wrinkled and sparsely papillate; hilum oblong-oval.
     In its resinous character it suggests Cupressus Macnabiana Murr., but the larger cones and glaucous seeds show a closer relationship to Cupressus Sargenti Jepson of the California Coast Ranges.
     This species, the first to be reported in the main Sierra Nevada, was first discovered by Mrs. Leo Polkinghorn in 1907, who forwarded specimens to the late Professor W. R. Dudley. In 1915, recognizing the peculiarities of these specimens, the writer visited the grove for further material and notes on the living trees. It grows on Red Hill, Piute Mountains, near Bodfish, Kern County, at an elevation of 5,000 to 6,000 feet. Associated with the California juniper, blue Oak, digger pine, and such desert plants as Pinus monophylla and Ephedra viridis. Type: Abrams 5368, July 29, 1915.