C.oblonga2.JPG (43359 bytes)Callitris oblonga: is a native conifer and a member of the Cupressaceae family in company with many exotic species. Callitris is almost an endemic genus. There are about 19 species with two native to New Caledonia .
Callitris oblonga is a handsome large shrub or small, rounded tree. This species is commonly known as Pygmy Cypress Pine.
Callitris oblonga has small green leaves and egg-shaped cones. The cones protect a number of seeds that are sticky with resin.
The Pygmy Cypress Pine has a fractured distribution. The species is found in Tasmania as well as southern and northern New South Wales . It is considered to be an endangered native plant.
The three populations are classified as sub-species of Callitris oblonga. We are familiar with the northern Pygmy Cypress Pine that is Callitris oblonga subsp. parva. This subspecies grows in widely scattered areas of the Northern Tablelands of New South Wales. Two populations grow along the Waterfall Way, east of Armidale. One population has been fenced to protect the plants from grazing animals. A number of plants have regenerated outside the fence (see image) and this population is now surviving and thriving.
The other population, further east, consisted of a few individuals growing in a roadside gully. A few years ago there was a proliferation of Pygmy Cypress Pine seedlings after roadworks disturbed the road verges. These seedlings are now maturing and this has become another healthy population.
Callitris oblonga could be cultivated as a “stand alone’ specimen or incorporated in an informal hedge. The species is also small enough to be grown under power lines as a street tree.
We feel that all Callitris species, including the Pygmy Cypress Pine, should be grown instead of exotic conifers. They are more tolerant of drought and faster growing.
Propagate from seed.