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Cultivated young tree at Mt Annan Botanical Garden, New South Wales [Trevor Hinchliffe].


Foliage of tree at Mt Annan Botanical Garden, New South Wales [Trevor Hinchliffe].


Female cones on tree at Mt Annan Botanical Garden, New South Wales [Trevor Hinchliffe].


Distribution of Actinostrobus pyramidalis (Hill 1998). You can also create a highly detailed map, and access specimen data, using the "search" function at the Australia Virtual Herbarium.


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Conservation status

Actinostrobus pyramidalis

Miquel 1845

Common names

Swan River cypress, swamp cypress (Farjon 2005), King George's cypress-pine (Silba 1986).

Taxonomic notes

Syn.: Callitris actinostrobus F. Muell. 1860, nom. illeg.; Frenela actinostrobus (F. Muell.) F. Muell. 1871, nom. illeg.; Callitris pyramidalis (Miq.) Sweet ex J. Piggin et J.J. Bruhl 2010. T: cited as: Gordon River, Perth and Wellington, Nov. 1840, Sept. 1841, L.Preiss 1311; holo: not traced (Hill 1998).


A narrowly conical shrub or small tree to 8 m tall with erect, closely arranged branches. Bark brown, smooth. Branchlets divided into long, straight, slender branchlets. Juvenile leaves often glaucous, 7-8 mm. long, rarely persistent on mature trees. Adult leaves scale-like, ovate, apically spreading, up to 12 mm. long, in 6 ranks, dark green, pointed, somewhat decurrent, slightly keeled. Male cones cylindrical, 3-5 mm long, 1.5-2 mm diameter, with 16-18 ovate scales; microsporophylls 2-4. Female cone globose to ovoid, rounded or obtuse, on a short peduncle, gray-brown, 12-15 mm. diameter, with 6 valvate scales; scales thin, obtuse or acute, slightly overlapping, apically incurved or erect, rarely spreading when open; with large rounded or nearly ovate basal bracts. Seeds tan or yellowish-brown, resinous, 5-7 mm. long, wings 1.5-1.9 mm. wide. Cotyledons 2, blue-green, 9-15 mm. long by 1.5-2 mm. wide, apex bluntly acute, stem 0.5-1 mm. thick. 2n = 22 (Silba 1986, Hill 1998).

Distribution and Ecology

Australia: Western Australia, "Endemic and locally frequent in shrublands in sandplain country, from near Watheroo south to the Albany district, south-western WA." Cited collections (presumably wild plants) include the south shore of Lake Chinocup, Cannington Swamp at University Reserve, and the corner of Madgingarra Road, near Maunchel Springs (Hill 1998).

Zone 10 (cold hardiness limit between -1°C and +4.4°C) (Bannister and Neuner 2001).

Big tree







Miquel, F.A.G. 1845. Cupressinae Richard. V.1, p.643-645 in J.G.C. Lehmann, Plantae Preissianae. Hamburg.

Piggin, J., and J.J. Bruhl. 2010. Phylogeny reconstruction of Callitris Vent. (Cupressaceae) and its allies leads to inclusion of Actinostrobus within Callitris. Australian Systematic Botany 23:69-93.

See also

Baker, R.T. and H.G. Smith. 1910. Res. Pines Australia 290 (Illustrations).

Bennett, E.M. 1987. in N.G. Marchant et al., Fl. Perth Region 1: 53, fig. 6 (Illustrations).

Blackall, W.E. and B.J. Grieve. 1954. How to Know W. Austral. Wildflowers. 1: 6 (Illustrations).

Farjon (2005) provides a detailed account, with illustrations.

Hair, J.B. 1968. New Zealand Journal of Botany 6: 272-284 (Figs 163, 195A-D).

Krussmann, G. 1985. Manual of Cultivated Conifers 2nd edition, 47, fig. 15 (Illustrations).

Last Modified 2012-11-23