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Athrotaxis selaginoides

Athrotaxis selaginoides
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Product Information

Scientific name:  Athrotaxis selaginoides  D. Don  1839

Synonyms:  Athrotaxis alpina Van Houtte ex Gordon, Athrotaxis gunneana Hook. ex Carrière, Athrotaxis imbricata Carrière, Cunninghamia selaginoides Zucc.

Common names:  King Billy pine, King William pine



Trees to 20-30 m tall; monopodial, erect, in old trees up to 1.5 m diameter, with a straight, clear bole in dense forest but stunted in exposed sites. Bark reddish brown weathering gray, soft and corky on branches. Crown deeply dome-shaped, dense, above a long, bare trunk. Leaves helically arranged in ranks of 5, 7-18 ×3-4 mm (larger on leading, older branchlets), decurrent, the distal part spreading abruptly, linear-lanceolate, widest at the point of curvature, keeled; margins entire; apex incurved, acute, usually lustrous light green; leaves amphistomatic, with few stomata proximally on the abaxial face and two broad and conspicuous bands of stomata separated by a midrib but uniting distally on the adaxial face, sometimes epistomatic. Pollen cones terminal or subterminal, at base surrounded by shortened leaves, 4-5 mm long, up to 5 mm wide, yellowish, turning brown. Seed cones terminal on branchlets with non-modified leaves, solitary; mature cones globose or subglobose, 15-25(-30) × 15-20(-30) mm, with 20-30 helically arranged bract-scale complexes which part widely at maturity. Seed 40-60 per cone, obovate, 2-3 mm long, with 2 narrow wings of slightly unequal size and shape and 0.5-1 mm wide positioned more or less in one plane.

Central and southern Tasmania. Forming pure stands or mixed with myrtle beech (Nothofagus cunninghamii) and celery top pine (Phyllocladus aspleniifolius) in montane rain forests on infertile soils;(20-)750-1,200(-1,300) m.


Conservation Status

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable

(The extent of occurrence (EOO) and area of occupancy (AOO) for Athrotaxis selaginoides are within the thresholds for Vulnerable (VU) even considering uncertainties in the estimation of AOO based on herbarium collection data. Localities mapped by Brown and Hill (in Farjon and Page 1999) in southwestern Tasmania are not represented by herbarium specimens. Allowing for these and other omissions, the AOO in particular would still be 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. This species therefore qualifies for a Vulnerable listing under criteria A2, B1 and B2)



Farjon, A. (2010). A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.

Eckenwalder, J.E. (2009) Conifers of the World: The Complete Reference. Timber Press, Portland.

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. Cambridge, UK /Gland, Switzerland


Copyright © Aljos Farjon, James E. Eckenwalder, IUCN, Conifers Garden. All rights reserved.

Product CodeATHV4SSG30

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