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Atlantic White Cedar Chamaecyparis thyoides


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Atlantic White Cedar
credit: Robert H. Mohlenbrock @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / USDA NRCS. 1995. Northeast wetland flora: Field office guide to plant species. Northeast National Technical Center, Chester, PA.

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Family: Cupressaceae, Cypress view all from this family

Description Evergreen coniferous tree growing to 20-28 m (rarely to 35 m) tall, with feathery foliage in moderately flattened sprays, green to glaucous blue-green in color. The leaves are scale-like, 2-4 mm long, produced in opposite decussate pairs on somewhat flattened shoots; seedlings up to a year old have needle-like leaves. Seed cones are globose, 4-9 mm diameter, with 6-10 scales, green or purple, maturing brown in 5–7 months after pollination. Pollen cones are purple or brown, 1.5–3 mm long and 1–2 mm broad, releasing their yellow pollen in spring.

Dimensions Height: 15-27 m. (50-90')
Diameter: 0.5-0.6 m. (1 1/2-2').

Habitat Swamps (fresh & salt).

Range Florida, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, New England.

Discussion Several cultivars of varying crown shape, growth rates and foliage color are used for garden planting. Cultivars include 'Andelyensis' (dwarf, with dense foliage), 'Ericoides' (juvenile foliage), and 'Glauca' (strongly glaucous foliage). The wood is reported to endure moisture indefinitely; used for log cabins, fence-posts, ties, shingles and floors. Wood was used to produce charcoal for gunpowder during the Revolutionary War.