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The rugged coastline of California’s Mendocino County has spectacular cliffs pounded by mighty Pacific storms. Some tough species of plants have evolved to thrive in this harsh environment. Further inland, ancient geological uplifting of marine terraces created areas of nutrient poor and very acidic soil where only dwarf trees grow. Dwarf Mendocino cypress can be seen in the unusual pygmy forest protected within the Van Damme State Park. A hundred year old tree here may only be less than 8 feet high.

Succulent plants cling to Pacific Coast cliff

Succulent plants cling to Pacific Coast cliff

Pygmy trees in Van Damme State Park

Pygmy trees in Van Damme State Park

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