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Genus Callitris Family Cupressaceae

Description: Trees or shrubs with spreading or erect branches. Branchlets appearing to consist of triangular or grooved-cylindrical joints owing to the decurrent leaf bases.

Mature leaves in whorls of 3, decurrent below the triangular, scale-like leaf tip. Juvenile leaves in whorls of 4, decurrent below a spreading needle-like upper portion, in some species remaining on mature trees.

Male cones ovoid, obovoid, oblong or cylindrical, solitary or several together at the ends of the branchlets. Female cones 10–30 mm diam., ± globose to ovoid, cone scales mostly 6, sometimes 8 if the cones borne on juvenile foliage, scales in a single whorl. Ovules numerous.

Seeds winged.


Photo © ANBG

Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 19 species, Australia & New Caledonia. Australia: 17 species, all States.

Text by G. J. Harden & J. Thompson
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
1Stems triangular with acute angles in cross section in fresh material, ± 3-winged in dried material; dorsal surface of the leaf acutely keeled2
Stems grooved-cylindrical to ± triangular with obtuse angles in cross section in fresh material, grooved to ± 3-lobed in dried specimens, dorsal surface of the leaf rounded or prominently, but not acutely, keeled3
2Female cones with alternate scales reduced in size; cones <15 mm diamCallitris baileyi
Female cones with all scales the same size; cones >15 mm diam
                       Back to 1
Callitris macleayana
3Dorsal surface of the leaves prominently keeled; stems ± triangular with rounded-obtuse angles to ± 3-lobed in cross section; cone scales with a distinct dorsal protuberance or apical point, cones not warted4
Dorsal surface of the leaves rounded; stems grooved-cylindrical in cross section; cone scales without a prominent dorsal protuberance or sometimes a small point present, cones sometimes warted
                       Back to 1
8
4Leaves mostly >5 mm longCallitris muelleri
Leaves usually 2–4 mm long
                       Back to 3
5
5Columellas large, widely 3-lobed, often to 5 mm longCallitris monticola
Columellas short, 3-lobed, 3-partite or with 3 or 4 separate parts
                       Back to 4
6
6Cones globose to depressed-globose; cone scales with a dorsal protuberance7
Cones slightly elongated, ± ovoid; cone scales with a blunt point usually thickened by a short dorsal point, evenly tapering towards the apex
                       Back to 5
Callitris oblonga
7Cones with a short, wide, conical protuberance on the dorsal surface; smaller cone scales less than half as long as the alternate scales, all scales thick and angularCallitris rhomboidea
Cones with a small dorsal point near the apex; smaller cone scales about three-quarters the length of the alternate scales, thinner and tapering
                       Back to 6
Callitris endlicheri
8Cone scales thick, united below to form a thick cone-base; cones densely warted, or warts sparse or absent9
Cone scales thin, separate almost to the base; cones not warted
                       Back to 3
10
9Cones usually 25 mm or more in diam., smooth or sparsely warted; trees to 20 m highCallitris gracilis
Cones usually <25 mm diam., densely warted; shrubs or small trees to 8 m high
                       Back to 8
Callitris verrucosa
10Foliage dark green; columella often 5–7 mm long; growing on coastal sandsCallitris columellaris
Foliage usually bluish grey; columella usually <5 mm long; growing inland from the coast, especially on the Western Slopes
                       Back to 8
Callitris glaucophylla

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