T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Chamaecyparis lawsoniana (Lawson cypress)

Kingdom:   Plantae
Division:    Pinophyta
Class:        Pinopsida
Order:       Pinales
Family:      Cupressaceae
Genus:      Chamaecyparis
Species:     C. lawsoniana
Binomial name: Chamaecyparis lawsoniana
Common name: Lawson cypress, Port Orford cedar

Chamaecyparis lawsoniana is a large evergreen tree maturing up to 60 m tall or more, with trunks 1.2–2 m (4–7 ft) in diameter, with feathery foliage in flat sprays, usually somewhat glaucous blue-green in color. The leaves are scale-like, 3–5 mm long, with narrow white markings on the underside, and produced on somewhat flattened shoots. The seed cones are globose, 7–14 mm diameter, with 6-10 scales, green at first, maturing brown in early fall, 6–8 months after pollination. The male cones are 3–4 mm long, dark red, turning brown after pollen release in early spring. The bark is reddish-brown, and fibrous to scaly in vertical strips.
It is a native to Oregon and California. It occurs from sea level up to 1,500 m (4,900 ft) in the Klamath Mountains valleys, often along streams.
The rot resistance wood is light and has great strength and is particularly highly valued in East Asia, with large amounts being exported to Japan where it is in high demand for making coffins, and for shrines and temples. Its lumber is also known for its highly fragrant ginger aroma. Due to the straightness of its grain, it is also one of the preferred woods for the manufacture of arrow shafts and stringed instruments.
There are several hundred named cultivars of C. lawsoniana which varying crown shape, growth rates and foliage colour.

Photographedf at Pukekura Park, New Plymouth




The reddish-brown bark that is fibrous to scaly in vertical strips.