The yellow cypress is also known as the yellow cedar but this is a misnomer as Canada's 2 species of CEDAR are in the genus Thuja. Other conifers also commonly called cypress belong to the genus Taxodium and are not native to Canada. An example is the bald cypress found in swampy areas of the southeastern United States.
The yellow cypress is a medium-sized tree, usually 20 to 40 m in height and 1.5 m in diameter. Its leaves are small and scalelike; the cones are round (1 cm diameter), and the bracts (modified leaves) and scales (ovule-bearing structures) are fused. Pollination occurs in spring. The seeds are small with 2 lateral wings. They complete their development and are shed in the fall of the second year after pollination. The wood is light, hard, strong and decay-resistant.
Its species name nootkatensis refers to NOOTKA SOUND from where it was first collected by botanists. Nootka Sound is the ancestral land of the NUU-CHAH-NULTH. They fashioned its wood into paddles, masks, dishes and bows, and wove its bark into clothing and blankets. This tree remains important to their culture.
Author JOHN N. OWENS
Links to Other Sites
The Plant List
Search this online database for information about one million plant species from around the world. Also, click on "major plant groups" at the bottom of the page to browse descriptions of species of interest. Fungi and algae are excluded. From the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in the UK and the Missouri Botanical Garden in the US.
Flora of North America
The FNA website features information on the names, taxonomic relationships, continent-wide distributions, and morphological characteristics of all plants native and naturalized found in North America north of Mexico.
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