Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Callitris rhomboidea R.Br. ex Rich.

Frost-hardy evergreen columnar, shrub or small tree with blue-green, scale-like leaves, and flattened, brownish female cones, to 1.5cm across, single or in small groups.  To 15m.  [RHSE, Hortus, Hilliers’, FNSW].

Horticultural & Botanical History

Introduced to Britain in 1826.  [JD].  ‘The timber is much used for telegraph posts, and by settlers for building purposes. (Hill.) It is strong, durable, and close-grained.  A slab of this wood in the Technological Museum, which has been seasoned over twenty-five years (having been exhibited at the London International Exhibition of 1862), has a weight which corresponds to 39lb. 5oz. per cubic foot.’  [The Useful Native Plants of Australia J.H.Maiden p.543/1889].  ‘The Callitris cupressiformis exhibited by Mr. Collins will be one of the handsomest coniferous plants ever seen.  Mr. Collins had 16 fine plants from four to six feet high, somewhat resembling Cupressus funebris, with a beautiful drooping habit; if it should be hardy it will be an invaluable acquisition.’  [Florist and Fruitist p.202/1855].  

History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1850 and 1857 catalogues [C.13/1850].  Probably collected by Macarthur on one of his botanising trips in the Illawarra.  Two plants were sent to John Lindley in 1848 [MP A2933-1, p.157] and a further two to Sir William Hooker at Kew [MP A2933-1, p.177].


Loranthus Bidwillii, Benth. Fl. Aust. III., 390.  On branches of Callitris cupressiformis, Vent.; it grows at Nerang Creek Heads.  The same mistletoe is more widely spread at Stanthorpe on the same kind of pine, and at the mouth of the Mary, from which district the original specimen sent by Mr. Bidwill, whose name it bears, probably came.’  [Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales vol.8, p.251/1883].

Published Jul 29, 2009 - 04:47 PM | Last updated Jul 16, 2010 - 04:52 PM

Family Cupressaceae
Region of origin

Eastern Australia, including the Illawarra

  • Callitris cupressiformis F.Muell.
  • Callitris tasmanica (Benth.) R.T.Baker & H.G.Sm.
  • Cupressus australis Pers.
  • Callitris australis (Pers.) Sweet
  • Frenela rhomboidea (Rich.) Endl.
Common Name

Oyster Bay cypress pine, Illawarra Mountain pine, Light pine

Name in the Camden Park Record

Callitris cupressiformis 

Confidence level high