Ajuntament de Barcelona

Cupressus macrocarpa

Joan Brossa Garden

    Catalan name: 
    Xiprer de Lambert
    Spanish name: 
    Ciprés de Monterrey
    English name: 
    Monterey cypress
    Botanical synonyms: 
    Callitropsis macrocarpa
    Observations: 

    According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the conservation status of this plant is vulnerable.

    Species characteristics
    Family: 
    Cupressaceae
    Origin: 
    Monterey Bay (California, USA)
    Habitat: 
    Coastal areas
    Characteristics: 

    Perennial tree 25-30 m tall, with widened on the base trunk, which occasionally is divided into two. The branches are ascendant, making a 45º angle with the trunk, and the twigs are very thick (1.5-2 mm in diameter). The red bark is very cracked and does greyish brown sheets.

    The dark green leaves are very thick and scale-shaped, with an obtuse apex. When rubbed, they release a citrus fragrance.

    The fruits are globose cons, 25-35 mm in diameter, formed by 8-12 scales. Their colour varies from reddish brown to greyish brown when old. They can remain closed on the tree for several years and ripe every two years. The cons contains many seeds, which have a narrow wing and tiny resin blisters on their surface.

    Flowering time: 
    Winter-spring
    Fruiting time: 
    Winter-spring
    Uses and properties: 

    Monterey Cypress wood is used by artisans and boat constructors as well as cabinet makers and designers. Is also useful as charcoal.

    Greenhouses harvest it for decoration purposes as some species are very appreciated because of the colour of its leaves, some in golden tone.

    History and curiosities: 

    The scientific name, Cupressus macrocarpa, consists of the genus name Cupressus, from the Latin cupressus, “cypress”, and the term macrocarpa, “of big fruits”, formed by the prefix μακρο-, “big”, and the word καρπός, “fruit”.

    For further information: 

    LÓPEZ GONZÁLEZ, Ginés A. Los árboles y arbustos de la Península Ibérica e Islas Baleares. (2 vol.) Madrid: Mundi-Prensa, 2001

    THE ROYAL HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY. Enciclopedia de plantas y flores. Barcelona: Grijalbo, 1996

    http://www.rhs.org.uk