Characteristics of White Cypress-pine Tree (Callitris columellaris) in the Wild

Callitris columellaris
White Cypress-pine or Northern Cypress-pine (Callitris columellaris) is a species of coniferous tree in the Cupressaceae family, native to Australia. Currently, the tree has been naturalized in Hawaii and southern Florida.

The White Cypress-pine’s natural range includes southeastern Queensland and northeastern New South Wales. It stretches from Maryborough in the north to the Clarence River in the south. It grows mainly in deep sandy soil near the coast.

Callitris columellaris was first described in 1866 by Ferdinand von Mueller in Fragmenta PhytographiƦ AustraliƦ, Volume 5, page 198.

Some authors view Callitris intratropica and Callitris glaucophylla as subspecies or varieties of Callitris columellaris.

 

Characteristics of White Cypress-pine Leaf

Callitris columellaris Leaf
Source: flickr.com/Russell Cumming

The leaves are scaly, dark green, and sometimes bluish, 1-3 mm long, and not keeled on the back.

 

Characteristics of White Cypress-pine Fruit

Callitris columellaris Fruit
Source: flickr.com/Russell Cumming

Male cones stand singly or in groups on branches and are cylindrical in shape up to 5 mm long. The female cones that stand alone on the branch are egg-shaped to flattened round with a diameter of 1.5-2.0 cm. Each cone consists of six thin conical scales and carries several seeds. The chestnut brown seeds are about 4 mm long and have two or three wings.
 

Characteristics of White Cypress-pine Tree

Callitris columellaris Tree
Source: flickr.com/Alison Klein

White Cypress-pine grows as an erect evergreen tree that can reach a height of up to 30 meters with a diameter of up to 1 meter. The bark is dark and wrinkled.

The White Cypress-pine tree is grown as a garden ornamental tree and its wood is used for ornamental and light construction purposes.

 

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