The following Participating Institutions are custodians for this species in the CPC National Collection:
University of California Botanical Garden
Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden
The conservation of Cupressus abramsiana is fully sponsored.
Holly Forbes contributed to this Plant Profile.
Santa Cruz cypress is an erect, densely branched, compact, coniferous tree with slender branchlets and cones containing six to eight seeds per scale. It grows on old marine sandstones or granitic soils in chaparral and closed-cone pine forest communities. This cypress is restricted to a localized area within the Santa Cruz Mountains near Bonny Doon and Eagle Rock in Santa Cruz County, California. It also occurs at Butano Ridge in San Mateo County. Its distribution suggests that Santa Cruz cypress is a relict species, representing a type of vegetation widespread during glacial times but now confined to scattered sites (CDFG 2002).
Distribution & Occurrence
Associated with coastal chaparral communities above the fog belt at 300-760 m. Some groves contain yellow pine and closed-cone pine forest elements. Soils are typically shallow, very well drained sands and sandy-gravelly loams which are low in nutrients. (USFWS 1998)
|This species is known only from five populations in the Santa Cruz Mountains:
Bonny Doon with over 3000 plants (about half of these are managed by the California Department of Fish and Game as part of the Bonny Doon Ecological Reserve).
Eagle Rock with 700 plants (located within Big Basin Redwoods State Park).
Bracken Brae with over 200 plants (private land).
Butano Ridge with over 200 plants (located within Pescadero Creek County Park).
Majors Creek with over 1000 plants (private land).
The total number of plants is over 5100.
Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1998
Conservation, Ecology & Research
Alteration of fire regimes
Genetic introgression from planted cypress (C. macrocarpa, C. glabra)
Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1998
reproductive biology (Kuhlmann 1986)
demographics (Lyons 1988)
variations of leaf monoterpenes (Zavarin and Thomas 1971)
and preliminary analysis of genetic variability (USFWS 1998)
Fire ecology (impact of alteration of natural fire cycles)
Population demographics (focused on identifying the life history stages critical to maintaining population viability)
Secondary impacts from adjacent land uses
USFWS. 1985. Extension of Comment Period for Public Hearing Requests for Eriogonum ovalifolium var. williamsiae (Steamboat Buckwheat) and Cupressus abramsiana (Santa Cruz Cypress). Federal Register. 50, 211: 45443-45444.
USFWS. 1985. Proposal to Determine Cupressus abramsiana to be an Endangered Species. Federal Register. 50, 177: 37249-37251.
USFWS. 1985. Protection Recommended for Three Plants. Endangered Species Technical Bulletin. 10, 10: 1, 5-6.
USFWS. 1987. Determination of endangered status for Cupressus abramsiana (Santa Cruz cypress). Federal Register. 52, 5: 675 - 679.
Zavarin, E.; Lawrence, L.; Thomas, M.C. 1971. Compositional variations of leaf monoterpenes in Cupressus macrocarpa, C. pygmaea, C. goveniana, C. abramsiana, and C. sargentii. Phytochemistry. 10: 379-393.