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By Rhysw

wellington, New Zealand Nz

[Solved] Not a Cypress but what is it ?
I don't believe this is a Cypress as it has flattened sprays but isnt a Kashmir or similar. Any ideas what it might be ? The ways the cones open out like a flower isn't something I've noticed before.

Img_20180603_132535 Img_20180603_132634 Img_20180603_132701



Just a guess here, but the foliage looks like one of the thujas, if so the cut foliage has a lovely scent to it.

3 Jun, 2018


That's a good suggestion but I'm sure its not thuja, or at least Occidentalis or Plicata which I'm familiar with. I associate thuja with having even flatter sprays and, as you say, that distinctive odour which smells like antiseptic to me. These didn't have that smell

3 Jun, 2018


Google Chamaecyparis thyoides cones. It might be that.

3 Jun, 2018


It would be a Thuja too, if I was guessing. I would say that Thuja tends to look flatter as it is mostly grown as a clipped hedge rather than a tree.

3 Jun, 2018


This is a useful site:

Maybe it is Libocedrus plumosa?

3 Jun, 2018


Rhysw this link shows the mature bark of the libocedrus-plumosa. That might help with the ID.

3 Jun, 2018


Thanks for the comments. I am familiar (or thought I was !) with kawaka but the bark on this one was not the rich red and very flakey bark I expect on kawaka so it didnt occur to me as an option. Looking at the links you have sent the cones do look right. I have submitted the photos to a NZ conservation network to have a look and will report back but it does sound like it will be kawaka. I should have got that, thanks for the advice.

3 Jun, 2018


I went and found a libocedrus-plumosa specimen elsewhere to compare but it does look different. The sprays are not flat and the leaves are more pointed. Perhaps this is a Chamaecyparis ?

BTW is it possible to add more photos to a question than the original three as I would like to add some of the one that I know is a libocedrus-plumosa for comparison ?

9 Jun, 2018


Turns out it is a Chinese Arborvitae (thanks @nutcracker). Well done everyone picking it as a thuja, (I believe T. Orientalis has now been declassified as a thuja) and is hard to spot as I didnt see any distinctive closed blue, spikey cones and the sprays are less upright than I have seen before (not that I have seen many).

11 Jun, 2018


Thank you for giving us the answer. It is hard to keep up with the name changes. Platycladus is a distinct genus of evergreen coniferous tree in the cypress family Cupressaceae, containing only one species, Platycladus orientalis, also known as Chinese thuja, Oriental arborvitae, Chinese arborvitae, biota or oriental thuja.

11 Jun, 2018

How do I say thanks?

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