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Widdringtonia schwarzii

Widdringtonia schwarzii
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Product Information

Scientific name: Widdringtonia schwarzii (Marloth) M.T.Masters  1905

Synonyms:Callitris schwarzii Marloth   

Common names: Willowmore cypress, Willowmore cedar, Baviaans cedar



Tree to 35 m tall but usually shorter, with trunk to 3 m in diameter. Bark fibrous, flaking, reddish gray. Crown narrowly conical at first, remaining relatively compact with age. Juvenile leaves 1-2 cm long, up to 2 mm wide. Scale leaves (1.5-)2-4(-10) mm long, the free tip often much shorter than the attached base, rounded in cross section. Pollen cones about 2 mm long. Seed cones 1.5-2 cm across, the rim and outer face of the scales both strongly warty, the subapical point moderately developed. Seeds black, the body 5-10 mm long, conical, curved the larger wing to 3 mm wide, the smaller rudimentary.

South Africa, Baviaanskloof and Konga Mountains, Cape province. Rocky, sterile gorges, among fire-prone shrublands; 850-1,200 m.


Conservation Status

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened

(Widdringtonia schwarzii has a restricted distribution in the Baviaanskloof Wilderness Area. There is some uncertainty about its area of occupancy although it is considerably less than 500 km2. The number of locations is between 5 and 12 depending on the method used to determine them. The species was heavily exploited in the past for its durable timber that was used for house construction, but most logging probably took place more than 120 years ago (i.e. more than three generations ago). Its habitat has also been modified by the increased frequency of fires as a result of human activities in the area and the expansion of agricultural activities. Fires continue to have an impact on this species. The extent of past decline is difficult to quantify due to a lack of information about the extent of its past distribution. The most recent Red List of South African Plants (Raimondo et al. 2009) assessed this species as Near Threatened on the basis that it almost met the D2 criterion  for Vulnerable. Given the discovery of additional localities in the Kouga Mountains, it seems unlikely that any single threat would impact the whole area to drive this species very quickly to Critically Endangered or extinction. In this assessment the Near Threatened category is maintained)



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 CodeWID0NGD192

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