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Callitris enderlicheri, Black Cypress and C. glaucophylla, White Cypress Pine


This time we will describe two Callitris species. They are similar in appearance could be cultivated in similar situations. 

Callitris enderlicheri is known as the Black Cypress Pine and reaches a maximum height of about 15 metres. The branches are erect sometimes spreading; the bark is tough and deeply furrowed. The foliage is bright green. The female cones may be solitary or several clustered together. They are egg-shaped and contain a number of sticky seeds that are coated in resin. Cones persist on the tree for a number of years.

The Black Cypress Pine has a wide distribution in New South Wales. The species occurs on the coast, tablelands, Western Slopes and Plains as well as Queensland and Victoria.

In our region, the Northern Tablelands of NSW, C. enderlicheri is found both east and west of Armidale. At Dangar’s Falls, east of Armidale, this species clothes the cliffs around the falls. To the west there is a large population on a hill just outside our boundary. Since sheep were removed from Yallaroo a number of seedlings have appeared just inside our boundary. On another property north of Yallaroo we found a large dead Callitris. Possibly, in days gone by, C. enderlicheri had a wider distribution. Sheep and rabbits probably demolished seedlings.

We have several large specimens planted near our gate many years ago. There is now a proliferation of seedlings mostly downhill from the parents. They are welcome additions to our environment.

Callitris glaucophylla, the White Cypress Pine, is similar to C. enderlicheri. The main differences are the bluish-grey foliage colour of the latter. This species also has globular cones rather that the egg-shaped cones of C. enderlicheri.

C. glaucophylla has a very wide distribution and is found in many areas of NSW as well as all the other mainland states. The timber is highly prized and is termite resistant.

These two native Cypress Pines could be planted instead of the ubiquitous exotic conifers. The native species have more tolerance to extended dry periods. Alternate plantings, of the two species described, would create an interesting and drought tolerant hedge.

Propagate both species from seed.

Warren and Gloria Sheather

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