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No. 51: Callitris cupressiformis,


Botanical description.

— Species, C. cupressiformis, Vent., Decad. 10.

A medium tree usually 30 or 40 feet high, pyramidal in shape, with the top and longer branches usually more or less pendulous.

Branchlets. — Most like those of C. calcarata.

Male amenta. — Solitary (chiefly in Tasmanian specimens) or 3 together, small or loose. The terminal scale is pointed and operculum-like in the Victorian and Tasmanian specimens.

Fruit-cones often clustered on short branches, globular, not exceeding half-inch diameter in the typical forms; valves 6, alternately smaller, the larger one dilated into a broadly rhomboidal apex, with a short conical protuberance about the centre, and usually rugose, the alternate ones much shorter, with a broad base and slightly overlapping the others on the margin, at least when young, the unopened cone furrowed at the junctions. The central columellas (or aborted ovules) are numerous.

Mature seeds. — Two-winged, the breadth of the wings exceedingly variable. The colour of the seeds is of a warm oak-brown.

Ventenat did not say whence he obtained his specimen. Probably the Port Jackson (N.S.W.) tree may be taken as the type; the type of C. Ventenatii certainly came from Port Jackson.

Parlatore gave an inappropriate varietal name, as the top of this tree is usually pendulous. Var. pendula, "ramulis pendulis," New South Wales (Vernon?) "Weeping Frenela." — (Parlatore in DC. Prod., xvi (2), 447.)

The Victorian (Grampians) form is var. mucronata and the Tasmanian form is var. tasmanica.

Botanical Name.

— Cupressiformis, Latin, cypress-like.

Vernacular Name.

— "Port Jackson Pine" (with Muelleri) Oyster Bay Pine of Tasmania.

Aboriginal Names.

— "Brorogery" of some Queensland aborigines. "Brorogoree" is a spelling given for the name in use by those of Stradbroke Island by Mr. G. Watkins. "Murragun" of those of the Sydney district, according to the late Sir William, Macarthur.


— C. Ventenatii, R.Br., ex. Mirb. in Mem. Mus. Par., xiii (1825), 74 (the type of this came from Port Jackson); C. rhomboidea, R.Br., in Rich. Comment. bot. de Coniferis et Cycadeis, 47 t. 18 (1826); (figured also under this name

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by Wildeman in Icones Selectae Thenensis iii, 140, plate 115); C. australis, Sweet, Hort. Brit., ed. ii, 474; C. arenosa, Sweet, loc. cit. (nomen); C. australis, Hook. f., Lond. Journ.Bot. iv, 147, non R.Br.; C. articulata, Hort. ex. Gord.pinetum, ed. ii, 117; Thuya australis, Poir (Desf. ?); Cupressus australis, Desf. non Persoon; F. rhomboidea, Endl., op. cit. 36; Frenela australis, Endl. (non R.Br.), Syn. Conif. 37; F. arenosa, A. Cunn. ex Endl., op. cit. 38; F. triquetra, Spach., Hist. Veg. Phan. xi, 345; F. attenuata, A. Cunn., ex B.Fl. vi, 238; F. variabilis, Carr., Conif., ed. i, 75.


— Not a highly figured Cypress pine timber; none of the coastal grown pines appear to have much figure. " Wood soft, not supposed to be, durable" (Sir William Macarthur, speaking of the Sydney district). Timber from the Dorrigo is of very little figure, nearly as plain as that of C. Macleayana, and but slightly aromatic. Backhouse (Narrative, p. 142) speaks of it as affording narrow-plank and small timber, which is useful in building, but not easy to work, being liable to splinter; it has an aromatic smell.

The Tasmanian timber (Oyster Bay Pine) is used for telegraph poles. The bark must always be stripped as soon as cut, otherwise insects get in and destroy the timber. The above notes I obtained at Oyster Bay.

Wood of little use, said to be obnoxious to bugs, from its resinous odour. — (F1. Tas.) Timber strong and durable, used for furniture, planks, weatherboards, battens, etc. — (Cat. Col. and Ind. Exh., 1886.)


— Usually a tree of 30 or 40 feet in height, with a stem diameter of about a foot. The largest tree measured by District Forester Rotton at Tomerong, N.S.W., was 15 inches in diameter.

Backhouse describes this as 50 — 70 feet high and 6 — 9 in. in girth, of a pyramidal shape, and giving a peculiar feature to the landscape. Gunn gives it as 25 — 30 feet. The above refers to Tasmanian (East Coast) trees. I have seen it 50 or 60 feet high. It forms dense thickets 10 to 12 feet high at Flinders Island. In New South Wales I have not seen it so large, but still a good tree, of (say) 40 feet.


— Found in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, and Tasmania. Usually it is found in rocky situations not far from the coast. It would appear that its most inland localities are in Victoria.

Specific localities in New South Wales are the Dorrigo district (head of the Bellinger River) — here it is somewhat scattered and limited in quantity, according to District Forester F. H. Wilshire; Kinchela, Port Macquarie, Port Jackson (including the site of the present Government House), George's River, Port Hacking, and the National Park. The most southerly locality known to me is that recorded by District Forester Rotton, at Parma Creek, near Tomerong, Shoalhaven district.

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In Victoria, var. mucronata is known as "Mountain Cypress Pine." Mueller says it occurs "on rocky not densely-timbered ranges, thus on the Grampians, Ovens Ranges, and Genoa Ra-nges." — (Cat. Intercol. Exh., 1866-7, p, 224.)

In South Australia we have Cape Willoughby, Pink Bay, Kangaroo Island. — (Seelyin Parlat. in DC. Prod., xvi(2),447.) It is also found near Onkaparinga.

I travelled over much of the Oyster Bay Pine country in Tasmania, and was informed that it starts at Paradise (most southerly locality). It is abundant between Swanport and Swansea, near the sea. Northerly, it extends for 50 or 60, miles to St. Paul's Tier.

In Hooker's Fl. Tas. it is stated to form dense thickets at Flinders Island on granite hills near the sea coast.


Plate 48: The Black and Other Cypress Pines (Callitris Muelleri, Benth. and Hook., f.)(Callitris calcarata, R.Br.)(Callitris cupressiformis, Vent.) Lithograph by M. Flockton.

Callitris Muelleri.

A and A1. Dimorphic foliage, Eden, N.S.W. B. Branchlet (enlarged) bearing male flowers. C. Fresh cones (B and C from Port Jackson). D. Cone, Wentworth Falls, Blue Mountains, N.S.W. E and F. Cones in different stages. G and G1. central columella in plan and elevation. H and H1. Showing method of attachment of seeds around the central columella. J. Seeds (E-J from Mount Wilson, N.S.W.)

Callitris calearata, R.Br.

K. Seedling. L. Fragment of branchlet. M. Young cone. N. Cone opened, showing the multiple columellas or aborted ovules. N1. A few specimens showing the great variation in the columellas. O. Branchlet (enlarged) showing female flowers. (K-O from Dubbo, N.S.W.). P. Branchlet (enlarged) bearing male flowers, from Jennings (N.S.W. — Queensland border). Q, cone, and Q1, seeds from Cooma, southern N.S.W.

Callitris cupressiformis, Vent.

R. Seedling plant. S. Branchlet (enlarged) bearing male flowers. T. Branchlet (enlarged) bearing female flowers. U. Cone, just opened (R-U from Port Jackson). V. Cluster of fruits. V1. Single fruit. V2. Central columellas. W. Seeds. (V-W from Kinchela, Port Macquarie, N.S.W.). X. Cones of variety mucronata, Grampians, Vic. Y. Portion of branchlet. Z. Portion of branchlet (enlarged) bearing male flowers; note the pointed terminal scale. Z1. Front and back views of stamen, with anthers. Nos. Y-Z from var. tasmanica (Gunn's No. 1,017, Flinders Island, Tasmania).

Supplementary Material Added to Volume 3.

No. 51. Part XII. Callitris cupressiformis, Vent.

Timber - See vol. ii, p. 62. For an account of the microscopical study of this timber tinder the name of Callitris rhomboidea, R.Br., see Dr. 11. Tassi, Bull. Lab. orto botanico di Siena, viii, Fasc. 1- 4, p. 11.

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