Callitris rhomboidea R. Br. ex L.C. Rich.

Common names

Oyster Bay Cypress-pine, Port Jackson Cypress-pine

Article sources

New Trees

Tree to 15 m, 0.4 m dbh, neatly pyramidal in outline when young. Bark smooth. Branches spreading to erect or fastigiate, with elegant drooping fine branchlets. Adult leaves to 2.5 mm, bright green to glaucous, prominently but not acutely keeled. Male strobili solitary or in clusters, to 2 mm. Female cones clustered, rounded, 1.2–2 cm diameter, persistent on the tree for years; scales with a short broad dorsal protuberance below the apex. Seeds ~0.1 cm diameter, dark brown, with two to three wings. Dallimore et al. 1966, Elliot & Jones 1997, Hill 1998. Distribution AUSTRALIA: eastern New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria. Habitat Rocky hills, sandplains and near the coast. USDA Hardiness Zone 8a. Conservation status Lower Risk. Illustration Van Gelderen & van Hoey Smith 1996; NT186. Cross-reference K60.

In the United Kingdom the tallest specimen of Callitris rhomboidea recorded was a tree of 14 m at Westlake in Devon, measured by Alan Mitchell in 1984 (Johnson 2003). It is not known if this tree still exists. The finest observed for the current work is at Tregrehan, matching the 7 m of the adjacent C. oblonga, and also forming a plumy pillar. A shaded 4 m specimen at Logan is leaning badly; although rather open in habit, it is continuing to produce healthy new growth. There is also a young tree (2 m) at Kew, again growing well. Callitris rhomboidea is available in the UK nursery trade. As a rapidly growing species tolerant of drought and neglect it is popular in Australian horticulture, and a selection from Mount Zero, Victoria with golden-yellow foliage has been named ‘Golden Zero’ (Elliot & Jones 1997, Hill 1998). The species deserves to be tried more widely where a warm sunny site can be provided.

Callitris rhomboidea. The shape of the cones is important in distinguishing Callitris species. Image A. Farjon.

Genus

Callitris

Other species in the genus