Chamaecyparis Spach

False Cypress

Greek chamai - on the ground (dwarf), kyparissos - cypress.

Medium to large cypress-like evergreen trees or shrubs grown mainly for the wide range of colour and habit cultivars raised mostly in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. Adult leaves in opposite pairs, the facial pair flattened, the lateral pair rounded or ridged. Male and female cones on the same tree, terminal. Male cones solitary, terminal. Female cones more or less round; scales opposite, joined edge to edge. Seeds mostly 2-5 per scale, shortly 2-winged. Collections: a broad range of cultivars are grown at Mount Lofty Gardens, Adelaide and Mt Tomah Botanic Gardens.

7 species from North America, Himalayan China, Japan and Taiwan.

Similar to Cupressus but mostly with the leading shoot bent over; foliage sprays flattened into one plane with the scale leaves differentiated into lateral and facial pairs; cones small, scarcely woody, generally less than 1.5 cm wide and maturing in one year (two years in C. funebris, and C. nootkatensis), and two (rarely to five), seeds on each cone scale. Cupressus has scale leaves in more or less identical opposite pairs, few species with flattened foliage sprays and relatively large female cones mostly 1.5-4 cm wide with each scale generally bearing more than 5 seeds.

Franco (1941), Lamb & Kelly (1987).

Source: Spencer, R. (1995). Cupressaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 1, Ferns, conifers & their allies. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

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kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Pinopsida
order     Pinales
family      Cupressaceae
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