Athrotaxis laxifolia

Family Taxodiaceae

Botanical name. Athrotaxis comes from two Greek words athros= crowded, and taxis= arrangement, referring to the overlapping arrangement of the leaves. The species name laxifolia refers to the wider spacing of the leaves, compared to the spacing of leaves of other species belonging to the same genus.

distribution mapHabitat. Tasmanian mountain rainforests between 900­1200 metres above sea level.

Features. These trees grow to 20 m, live up to 1300 years and grow very slowly (1-2 mm in diameter each year). The male and female cones are found on the same tree and the main method of seed dispersal is by wind. These trees are thought to possibly be a hybrid of Athrotaxis cupressoides and Athrotaxis selaginoides because individual trees are only found in areas where both of the other species occur. The foliage is also intermediate in appearance between the other two species.

drawingEuropean use. The timber is soft and pale reddish in colour but is not used commercially because the trees are not common and are only found individually.

Education Service - Australian National Botanic Gardens