Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Northeast Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Atlantic White Cedar
Chamaecyparis thyoides (L.) BSP.
- Family: Cypress (Cupressaceae)
- Fruits: July-October
- Field Marks: This evergreen tree differs by its scale-like leaves forming a flattened, fan-like
spray and its small, nearly spherical cones with thick polygonal-shaped scales and slightly
- Habitat: Swamps, along streams.
- Habit: Evergreen tree to 75 feet tall, with a thick, tapering crown; bark of trunk shaggy, gray, divided into flat ridges; trunk up to 3 feet in diameter.
- Twigs: Mostly horizontal, gray, 4-sided, flattened, with the leaves forming a fan-like spray.
- Leaves: Mostly opposite, acute, scale-like, appressed, sometimes with a small gland on the back; leaves of two types, those on the flattened side of the twig are flat and acute, those on the sides are folded and acute.
- Reproductive Structures: Male and female borne separately on separate branches of the same tree, in small, terminal spikes; male flowers composed of a scale and 2-4 pollen-bearing structures; female flowers consisting of paired polygonal scales bearing 1-4 immature seeds.
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: 0.
- Fruits: Female cones greenish with a heavy white waxy coating, nearly spherical, less than 1/2 inch in diameter, usually smaller, bearing slightly winged seeds.
- Notes: The wood of this tree is used for furniture, shingles, and fences. This species is also planted as an ornamental.
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