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A small tree, usually less than 30 ft high, with numerous ascending branches and very distinct from the other Californian cypresses (except C. stephensonii) in its smooth, lustrous, cherry-red or brown bark, which peels in thin flakes. Leaves light green; resin-pits absent or inconspicuous. Cones grey or brownish, globose, about 1 in. wide, with rather short umbos. Seeds dark brown. A native of S. California, with two separate locations, one in San Diego Co., and the other in Orange Co.; it extends, but scarcely, into Mexico. This cypress, of recent introduction, is allied to C. guadalupensis S. Wats., a species confined to the island of Guadelupe, which lies off the coast of Lower California. This makes a more massive tree than C. forbesii; the leaves are more glaucous; and the cones larger (to 13⁄4 in. wide). Both resemble C. macrocarpa in foliage and fruit, but are well distinguished by the smooth, peeling bark. There is a specimen of C. guadalupensis at Borde Hill, Sussex, about 50 ft high, which fruits regularly and shows very well the characteristic bark of this species.