Hesperocyparis macnabiana Forest & Woodland Alliance
McNab cypress woodland and forest

USDA Ecological Section Map

Summary Information

  • Primary Life FormTree
  • Elevation300-1100 m
  • State RarityS3.2
  • Global RarityG3
  • DistributionUSA: CA (NatureServe)
  • Endemic to CaliforniaYes
  • Endemic to California Floristic Province and DesertsYes
  • Date Added1995/11/01

Characteristic Species

Hesperocyparis macnabiana is dominant in the tree canopy with Hesperocyparis sargentii, Pinus attenuata and Pinus sabiniana. Shrubs may include Arctostaphylos viscida.

Vegetation Layers

Trees < 10 m; canopy is intermittent to continuous. Shrub layer is sparse to intermittent. Herbaceous layer is variable.

Membership Rules

  • Hesperocyparis macnabiana > 50% cover in the tree or shrub layer (C. Malleck, pers. Comm. 2009, Wolf 1948).


Open slopes and ridges. Soils derived from basalt, conglomerate, gabbro, greenstone, or serpentine substrates are generally sterile.

Other Habitat, Alliance and Community Groupings

MCV (1995) McNab cypress series
NVCS (2009) Cupressus macnabiana forest alliance
Calveg McNab cypress
Holland Northern interior cypress forest
Munz Closed-cone pine forest
WHR Closed-cone pine-cypress
CDFW CA Code 81.300.00

National Vegetation Classification Hierarchy

Formation Class Mesomorphic Tree Vegetation (Forest and Woodland)
Formation Subclass Temperate Forest
Formation Warm Temperate Forest
Division Madrean Forest and Woodland
Macro Group California Forest and Woodland
Group Californian evergreen coniferous forest and woodland