Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Callitris intratropica R.T.Baker & H.G.Sm.

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Cones and branchlets. © CSIRO
Scale bar 1mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage and 10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Baker, R.T. & Smith, H.G. (1910) A Research on the Pines of Australia : 172. Type: Arnhem Land, F. Mueller; lecto: K. Fide J. Garden, Contr. New South Wales Natl. Herb. 2: 363-392 (1957).

Common name

Cypress Pine; Pine, Cypress


Grows into a small tree usually less than 30 cm dbh, but also flowers and fruits as a shrub. Blaze aromatic, emitting a piney odour.


Leaves scale-like, sessile, triangular, attached by a broad base and arranged in whorls of three.


Inflorescence cones only about 3 mm long.


Cones (resembling capsules) about 15-19 mm diam. Seeds numerous, each seed 2-winged, about 5-7 x 3-5 mm. Testa thick and woody. Embryo about 3 x 1 mm.


Cotyledons linear, about 12-20 x 1 mm, sessile, longitudinally veined or without any obvious venation. Cotyledons longer and wider than the first leaves. First pair of leaves opposite, next set of leaves in whorl of four. At the tenth leaf stage: leaves in whorls of four, each leaf shorter and narrower than the cotyledons. Leaves about 5-14 mm long and less than 1 mm wide, sessile. Seed germination time 19 to 62 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Australia, occurs in WA, NT, CYP and NEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 900 m. Usually grows in open forest but also found in heathy forest, vine thickets, monsoon forest and on rain forest edges.

Natural History & Notes

The taxonomy of Callitris still poses some difficulties, and in WA is included in C. columellaris. Usually found as a component of open forest but sometimes found on rainforest margins or in closed forest on old sand dunes.

The timber is very aromatic, resistant to termites and splits quite readily into fine chips or kindling for lighting cooking fires.

This species produces an essential oil in the stem which is apparently highly regarded.

Wood specific gravity 0.67. Cause et al. (1989).

Frenela robusta var. microcarpa Benth., Flora Australiensis 6: 237(1873), Type: Moreton island, Northern woods, Paris Exhibition 1855, C. Moore, n. 62. Callitris robusta var. intratropica Ewart & O.B.Davies, The Flora of the Northern Territory : 19(1917). Callitris robusta var. microcarpa F.M.Bailey, A Synopsis of the Queensland Flora : 497(1883), Type: (not cited). Frenela intratropica Benth., Flora Australiensis 6: 237(1873).
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