Athrotaxis cupressoides

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Athrotaxis cupressoides
Athrotaxis cupressoides.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales
Family: Cupressaceae
Genus: Athrotaxis
Species: A. cupressoides
Binomial name
Athrotaxis cupressoides
D.Don

Athrotaxis cupressoides is a species of Athrotaxis, endemic to Tasmania in Australia, where it grows at 700–1,300 m altitude.[1][2] Its common name is pencil pine, although it is not a member of the pine family.

It is an evergreen coniferous tree growing to 10–20 m tall, with a trunk up to 1 m diameter. The leaves are scale-like, 3–6 mm long and 2–3 mm broad, arranged spirally on the shoots. The seed cones are globose, 10–16 mm diameter, with 10–16 spirally-arranged scales; they are mature about six months after pollination. The pollen cones are 3–5 mm long.[1]

The species is threatened, with the major cause of decline being out-of-control bushfires set to clear logging debris after timber harvests in nearby Eucalyptus forests; a large proportion of the species' range was severely affected by major fires in 1960–1961. Disease caused by Phytophthora species has also been identified as a cause of dieback. Regeneration is also hampered by introduced sheep and rabbits.[1]

Significant stands of Athrotaxis cupressoides on the Central Plateau were destroyed in the 2016 Tasmanian bushfires.

Away from its native range, it is occasionally cultivated as an ornamental tree in northwestern Europe.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Farjon, A. (2005). Monograph of Cupressaceae and Sciadopitys. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. ISBN 1-84246-068-4
  2. ^ Conifer Specialist Group 2000: Athrotaxis cupressoides
  3. ^ Mitchell, A. F. (1974). A Field Guide to the Trees of Britain and Northern Europe. Collins ISBN 0-00-212035-6