Plants of
South Australia
Callitris sp. Limestone (M.D.Crisp 11785)
Cupressaceae
Limestone Cypress Pine
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
Least concern
Near threatened
Rare
Vulnerable
Endangered
Critically endangered
Extinct
Data deficient
Adelaide
Arkaroola
Ceduna
Coober Pedy
Hawker
Innamincka
Marla
Marree
Mount Gambier
Oodnadatta
Renmark
Wudinna
Keith
Yunta
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Etymology

Callitris from the Greek 'kalos' meaning beautiful and 'treis' meaning three, referring to the arrangement of the leaves in whorls of three. Manuscipt script name refers to the species habitat. This species was previously treated as Callitris canescens (from Latin meaning becoming grey, possibly referring to the colour of the cones), which is endemic to Western Australia.

Distribution and status

Endemic to South Australia and found on the Eyre and Yorke Peninsulas, Kangaroo Island, southern Mount Lofty Ranges and Murrayland, growing in mallee open scrub on calcareous soils. Native. Common in South Australia.
Herbarium regions: Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Tall shrub to 5 m high, occasionally a prostrate shrub with separate male and female plants. Leaves light-green fused together in rings of three with outer surface rounded. Fruits are grey globular hard woody cones to 1.9 cm diameter with a smooth surface and scattered small tubercles; single or in groups of 2 or more. Seeds are dark brown to black ovoid seeds to 6 mm long and 3 mm wide, with papery wing to 4 mm wide 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. From one collection, the seed viability was low, at 30%. Viable seed should germinate readily, if stored in a fridge prior to sowing in winter.

Seeds stored:
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LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA2,200 (11.02 g)20+26-Mar-2014NRD60
Murray
24-Mar-201530%-18°C
BGA 
MSB
9,400 (44.29 g)
9,400 (44.29 g)
50+8-Nov-2018DJD3813
Eyre Peninsula
24-Apr-201940%-18°C
Location: BGA — the seeds are stored at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, MSB — the seeds are stored at the Millennium Seed Bank, Kew, England.
Number of plants: This is the number of plants from which the seeds were collected.
Collection location: The Herbarium of South Australia's region name.
% Viability: Percentage of filled healthy seeds determined by a cut test or x-ray.