Plants of
South Australia
Callitris glaucophylla
White Cypress-pine,
Northern Cypress-pine
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
Least concern
Near threatened
Critically endangered
Data deficient
Coober Pedy
Mount Gambier
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 5

Prior names

Frenela robusta var. microcarpa

Callitris glauca

Callitris columellaris

Common names

White Cypress-pine

Northern Cypress-pine


Callitris from the Greek 'kalos' meaning beautiful and 'treis' meaning three, referring to the arrangement of the leaves in whorls of three. Glaucophylla from the Greek 'glaukos' meaning bluish and 'phyllon' meaning a leaf, in referring to the bluish glaucous leaves.

Distribution and status

Found in the central and northern parts of South Australia, growing in inland woodlands on loamy plains, sandy rises and outcrops. Also found in the Northern Territory, Queensland and New South Wales and in Western Australia and Victoria. Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other States.
Herbarium regions: North Western, Lake Eyre, Nullarbor, Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray
NRM regions: Alinytjara Wilurara, Eyre Peninsula, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Small trees or trees to 30 m high, with a single trunk. Bark brown, rough and furrowed. Leaves in whorls of 3 (sometimes 4 or 5 when juvenile), usually glaucous (bluish grey), juvenile leaves to 8 mm long, mature leaves to 3 mm long with apex broadly acute, dorsal surface not keeled. Fruits are dark brown, depressed-globose to ovoid cone to 2.5 cm diameter, surface smooth, solitary, compressible, rarely remaining on the plant long after maturity. Seeds are reddish brown ovoid seed to 6 mm long, with a wrinkled surface and two large wings on either side.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between January and December. Collect cones that are not open but large, hard and dark. These will contain maturing seeds. Place the cones in a tray and leave to dry for 3-5 weeks to allow the cones to open naturally. Then shake the cones in a bucket to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate the seeds from the cones. Store the seeds with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place. Viable seed should germinate readily, if stored in a fridge prior to sowing in winter.