Cupressus gigantea W. C. Cheng & L. K. Fu
- genus Cupressus L.
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 diameter. 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 cm long, 1.3-1.6 cm wide; cone scales circa 12, each fertile scale with numerous seeds; bracts with a prominent, large, free mucro at apex.
Cupressus gigantea is reported be vulnerable (Conifer Specialist Group, 1998).
Cupressus gigantea is close relative of Cupressus chengiana, but differs from the latter in its glaucous (vs. not glaucous) branchlets, bracts with a prominent, large, free mucro at apex (vs. a small, free mucro at apex).
The chromosomal number of Cupressus gigantea is 2n = 22 (Liang, 1990).
Ecology and Distribution
Cupressus gigantea is occurring in SE Xizang.
Recent phylogenetic investigations of Cupressoideae have found evidence to suggest that Cupressus is not monophyletic. The Cupressus was divided into an Old World clade and a New World clade. Data from anatomy, biochemistry, micromorphology, reproductive development, reproductive morphology, and vegetative morphology were combined with molecular sequence data (matK, NEEDLY intron 2, nrITS, rbcL, and trnL) to produce the most complete hypothesis of evolutionary relationships within Cupressoideae. Callitropsis, Cupressus, and Juniperus formed a well-supported monophyletic group (100%). Within this clade, the only demonstrably monophyletic genus was Juniperus (100%). Monophyly of the Old World species of Cupressus was well supported (100%). Old World species of Cupressus were sister to Juniperus (99%). Callitropsis and the New World species of Cupressus were resolved as the sister group to the Old World Cupressus plus Juniperus clade (100%) (Little, 2006).
Growing in mountain slopes, along rivers; 3000-3400 m.