The Gymnosperm Database


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Conservation status

Juniperus deppeana var. gamboana

(Mart.) R.P. Adams 2006

Common names

Cedro, cipres, cipres común, bac'il nuhkupat [Tzeltal, in Chiapas], K'uk'',ton, nukul pat [Tzotzil in Chiamas], gambo juniper (Zanoni and Adams 1979).

Taxonomic notes

Syn.: Juniperus gamboana Martínez 1944. This was the accepted name until DNA sequencing (nrDNA and trnC-trnD) showed that gamboana trees fall within a clade that includes the other varieties of J. deppeana (Adams and Schwarzbach 2006). Even on purely morphological grounds, the close relationship between deppeana and gamboana has long been recognized, and has since been confirmed by the molecular studies of Mao et al. (2010); for a fuller discussion, see the "Taxonomic notes" section of Juniperus.


Trees up to 12 m tall, the stem usually branching 1-2 m above base. Branches ascending to erect, crown rounded or broadly pyramidal. Bark dark ash-brown, about 5 mm thick, forming quadrangular plates. Terminal whip branches ascending to erect, with straight tips, bearing red-brown, scaly bark. Angle of branching of ultimate twigs 35-45°. Scale leaves yellow-green to green, mostly opposite, ovate to elliptic, 1.5-2 mm long with acute to obtuse, appressed tips; margin finely toothed (20X hand lens). Seed cones globose, red-brown with a light bloom, 5-8 mm diameter, pulp soft. Seeds brown, 1(-2) per cone, ovoid, 4-6 × 3-4 mm with several large grooves; hilum about two-thirds length of seed (Zanoni and Adams 1979).

Distribution and Ecology

Mexico: Chiapas; Guatemala: Huehuetenango; at 1670-2200 m elevation, on limestone soils in understory of Quercus-Pinus-Juniperus cloud forests or in open pine (Pinus oocarpa) forest (Zanoni and Adams 1979, Farjon 2005).

Big tree





Zanoni and Adams (1979) report collection locations for many herbarium specimens; among the more specific are (1) Four miles N of Teopisca on Highway 190; (2) Sixteen km NW of Comitán near Lake Jusnajav; (3) Three miles SW of Pinola Las Rosas on road to Soyatitan, municipio Venustiano Carranzo. I believe these are all in Chiapas.



Adams, Robert P. and Andrea E. Schwarzbach. 2006. Infraspecific adjustments in Juniperus deppeana (Cupressaceae). Phytologia 88(3):227-232.

See also

Farjon (2005) provides a detailed account, with illustrations.

Last Modified 2017-12-29