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Useful Temperate Plants

Athrotaxis selaginoides

D.Don.

Cupressaceae

+ Synonyms

Athrotaxis alpina Van Houtte ex Gordon

Athrotaxis gunneana Hook. ex Carrière

Athrotaxis imbricata Carrière

Cunninghamia selaginoides Zucc.

Common Name: King Billy Pine

Athrotaxis selaginoides
Trees growing in native habitat
Photograph by: Richardson M.; Australian National Botanic Gardens
Creative Commons License
Athrotaxis selaginoides Athrotaxis selaginoides

General Information

Athrotaxis selaginoides is an evergreen tree with a long, conical crown when young, becoming irregular with age; it can grow up to 30 metres tall. The bole is usually straight and cylindrical, though it can be twisted and is sometimes multi-stemmed in open sites; it can be up to 150cm in diameter[
329
Title
The Gymnosperm Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.conifers.org/index.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A vast amount of information on conifers and families of gymnosperms.
].
The tree provides some excellent wood for special uses like wood carving and turning. However, virtually all trees, including dead wood, are now within protected areas and removal is prohibited.
Athrotaxis selaginoides is only found in southeast Tasmania, where its total range is substantially less than 2,000 km². The population is severely fragmented and it is estimated that there has been a population reduction of at least 40% over the last 200 years (three generations would be about 300 years), primarily due to fires. While decline has slowed, it has not ceased. The plant is classified as 'Vulnerable' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2013)[
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.

Range

Australia - S.W. Tasmania

Habitat

Wet, talus or peat soils from transitional forests at elevations above Eucalyptus woodland, up to the alpine; at elevations from 400 - 1,120 metres[
329
Title
The Gymnosperm Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.conifers.org/index.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A vast amount of information on conifers and families of gymnosperms.
].

Properties

Conservation StatusVulnerable
Other Uses Rating *
HabitEvergreen Tree
Height30.00 m
Growth RateSlow
PollinatorsWind
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

Athrotaxis selaginoides is a plant of the temperate zone, growing in areas where snowfall is quite common in winter, at elevations up to 1,200 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 15 - 22°c, but can tolerate 5 - 28°c[
167
Title
A Field Guide to Australian Trees.
Publication
 
Author
Holliday. I. and Hill. R.
Publisher
Frederick Muller Ltd.
Year
1974
ISBN
0-85179-627-3
Description
A well illustrated and very readable book, but it does not contain much information for the plant project.
,
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. When dormant, the plant can survive occasional temperatures down to about °-10c, but young growth can be severely damaged at -1°c[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,500 - 2,000mm, but tolerates 1,200 - 2,750mm[
167
Title
A Field Guide to Australian Trees.
Publication
 
Author
Holliday. I. and Hill. R.
Publisher
Frederick Muller Ltd.
Year
1974
ISBN
0-85179-627-3
Description
A well illustrated and very readable book, but it does not contain much information for the plant project.
,
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. It succeeds outdoors in the south and west of Britain, producing fertile seed in western Britain, but does not grow well in the rest of the country[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
Requires a sheltered position in a rich moist soil[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
]. Found wild in acidic, rocky (talus) or peaty soils which are usually wet[
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
].
A slow-growing tree[
329
Title
The Gymnosperm Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.conifers.org/index.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A vast amount of information on conifers and families of gymnosperms.
].
Plants are not very tolerant of fire and tend to disappear from the landscape in areas subject to fire. Before the arrival of humans fire was a very rare event in its high-rainfall habitat, but with the advent of human activity

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

None known

Other Uses

The heartwood is pink to reddish brown; the sapwood yellow. The texture is fine, with close, prominent growth rings; it has a pleasant, cedar scent. The wood is very light in weight, very soft, very durable with good resistance to rot. It seasons very readily with little shrinkage or distortion. It is easily worked; planes and cuts very well; is easily split; and has good bending properties. Because of its softness, however, it bruises easily. .A softwood with a pleasant cedar scent, it is highly valued for many uses such as boat building, joinery, shingles, sounding boards in musical instruments, vats etc. It is aAn excellent wood for special uses like wood carving and turning but, because of its softness, it tears on the end grain[
167
Title
A Field Guide to Australian Trees.
Publication
 
Author
Holliday. I. and Hill. R.
Publisher
Frederick Muller Ltd.
Year
1974
ISBN
0-85179-627-3
Description
A well illustrated and very readable book, but it does not contain much information for the plant project.
,
329
Title
The Gymnosperm Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.conifers.org/index.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A vast amount of information on conifers and families of gymnosperms.
,
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
]
The tree is no longer harvested. Virtually all trees, including dead wood, are now within protected areas and removal is prohibited[
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
].

Propagation

Seed - sow late winter/early spring in a cool greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts[
78
Title
Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers.
Publication
 
Author
Sheat. W. G.
Publisher
MacMillan and Co
Year
1948
ISBN
-
Description
A bit dated but a good book on propagation techniques with specific details for a wide range of plants.
].
Cuttings of mature wood of the current season's growth, 7 - 10cm long in early autumn (early autumn), in sandy soil in a cold frame. Leave for 12 months[
78
Title
Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers.
Publication
 
Author
Sheat. W. G.
Publisher
MacMillan and Co
Year
1948
ISBN
-
Description
A bit dated but a good book on propagation techniques with specific details for a wide range of plants.
].

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