Scarification: Soak in water, let stand in water for 24 hours
Stratification: cold stratify for 30 days
Germination: sow seed 1/16" deep, tamp the soil, mulch the seed bed
Other: seed can be treated with Captan (4 tablespoons/gallon of water) during stratification to prevent fungal problems
Introducing the Hesperocyparis macnabiana Macnab Cypress, also known as MacNab's Cypress! This species of cypress is endemic to northern California and is one of the most widely distributed of all native California cypresses. Found in chaparral, oak woodlands, and coniferous woodlands along the inner northern Coast Ranges and the foothills of the northern Sierra Nevada, this shrub or small tree features a grey, furrowed bark and fragrant foliage.
The Macnab Cypress is an evergreen shrub or small tree that can reach heights of 3-12 meters (rarely up to 17 meters) with a spreading crown that is often broader than it is tall. Its foliage is produced in dense, short flat sprays, unlike most other California cypresses. The bright glaucous gray-green color and strong spicy-resinous scent make it a standout in any landscape.
The leaves of the Macnab Cypress are scale-like, measuring 1-2 mm long with an acute apex and a conspicuous white resin gland in the center. In their first year, young seedlings produce needle-like leaves up to 10 mm long. The seed cones of this species are oblong-ovoid to cuboid, measuring 15-25 mm long and 13-20 mm broad. With six scales (rarely four or eight), each bearing a prominent umbo, these cones are strongly serotinous. They do not open to release the seeds until the parent tree is killed by wildfire, allowing for heavy seed release and colonization of the bare, fire-cleared ground. Pollen cones, 3-4 mm long, release their pollen in the fall.
If you're looking for a native California cypress that thrives in various environments and adds beauty and fragrance to your landscape, the Hesperocyparis macnabiana Macnab Cypress is an excellent choice. To learn more about this species, visit our website or explore the valuable information available on plants.usda.gov.