Pygmy Cypress - Hesperocyparis pigmea
The small stature of this species (which was once considered a subspecies of Hesperocyparis goveniana) is a consequence of the old marine terrace habitat where it grows. Soils are compact, acidic, and underlain by clay, limiting growth. Some mature trees are less than 3 feet tall. The foliage is compact and pale in color, the cones are small and rounded; they will remain closed until released by fire or tree death. The gray-brown bark is stringy. Pygmy Cypress grows near the coast and in nearby mountain ranges of northwestern California. In deep soils this species can grow to 100 feet.