Cupressus dupreziana
Common name: 
Saharan Cypress
Tassili Cypress
Duprez Cypress
kew-PRES-us du-prez-I-an-uh
Cupressus sempervirens var. dupreziana
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Evergreen conifer, trees to 20 m tall; similar to the Italian Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens), possibly only a geographical form; it differs in that its shoots are flatter, small leaves have a gland-pit at the base, and the cones are much smaller but longer.  Foliage very dense.  Leaves are scales, opposite, slightly appressed, acuminate, 1-1.5 mm long, dull green, resin gland elongated, not noticeable except on the base of old leaves.  Female seed cones terminal, purple, ovoid, 2.5 mm diameter, developing into and elongated cone 18-24 by 16-20 mm; grey-brown.
  • Sun  Very drought tolerant
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 9   Native to the Tassili Mountains in the central Sahara Desert in southeastern Algeria.  There are only a few hundred specimens left in the wild; a very rare and endangered species.
  • Cupressus dupreziana has a very unique reproduction strategy, it does not involve the usual combining of male and female sex cells.  " is the only species in the plant kingdom known to reproduce by cloning its male genetic material through a process known as male apomixis.  Female apomixis, the division of female cells inside a flower ovary as a means of seed formation, is common in several species, including dandelions and blackberries, but male cloning requires an additional step unique to the Saharan cypress: Pollen, carrying the male cells, enters the tree's ovule, but instead of combining with the female cells, it divides internally to become a viable seed genetically identical to itself" (Saudi Aramco World, Vol.58 (5), Sept./Oct., 2007).
  • dupreziana: in honor of Captain Duprez, commander of French forces at Fort Charlet in the Djanet oasis (Algeria).  He found the trees in 1924 at the foot of the nearly 2000 m high (6500 ft) Tassili plateau.  He wrote to a biologist, "I discovered one day in a small wadi called Tamrit a tree with foliage and habit too unusual for the area not to attract my attention" (The Gymnosperm Database).
  • Santa Cruz, California: Univ. Calif. Santa Cruz Arboretum


Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit

    plant habit

  • foliage


  • branchlets


  • trunk, bark

    trunk, bark