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Chinese Plant Names | Family List | Cupressaceae | Cupressus

Cupressus gigantea Cheng et L. K. Fu


Description from Flora of China

Trees to 45 m tall; trunk 3(-6) m d.b.h.; branchlets densely arranged, often glaucous, stout, usually 4-angled, rarely terete, ultimate ones not drooping, 1.5-2 mm in diam. Leaves closely arranged, in 4 ranks, glaucous, scalelike, obtusely ridged or arched (gibbous) and with a rounded central abaxial gland. Seed cones usually glaucous, oblong-globose, 1.5-2 × 1.3-1.6 cm; cone scales circa 12, each fertile scale with numerous seeds; bracts with a prominent, large, free mucro at apex. 2n = 22*

An endangered species. Perhaps better treated as a variety of Cupressus torulosa, from which it differs mainly in its thicker ultimate branchlets, which are not drooping but spreading (xeromorphy), and in that some stands in SE Xizang contain very massive trees. However, some herbarium specimens of C. torulosa collected outside China in the W Himalayan region have similarly thick foliage, while another specimen from SE Xizang has ultimate branchlets only 0.8 mm wide.

* Mountain slopes, along rivers; 3000-3400 m. SE Xizang.


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