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Mature tree at the Los Angeles Arboretum [C.J. Earle, 2009.12.06]>.


Branchlet, showing foliage and pollen cones, from tree above [C.J. Earle, 2009.12.06]>.


Branch with closed and open mature cones, from tree above [C.J. Earle, 2009.12.06]>.


Bark on tree above [C.J. Earle, 2009.12.06]>.


Distribution of Callitris preissii subsp. preissii (Bowman and Harris 1995). Basemap from Expedia Maps. You can also create a highly detailed map, and access specimen data, using the "search" function at the Australia Virtual Herbarium.

See also, photos at Wikipedia Commons.


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Conservation status

Callitris preissii

Miquel 1845

Common names

Rottnest Island pine (Silba 1986), Murray pine, maroong [aboriginal] (ANBG 2002), slender cypress pine. Subspecies murrayensis is also called mallee pine.

Taxonomic notes

There are two subspecies:

C. verrucosa is named as a subspecies by Harden (1990), who states that subspecies verrucosa and murrayensis intergrade and are often difficult to determine satisfactorily; and that there are also hybrids with C. columellaris.

Farjon (2010) places C. tuberculata into synonymy with this species, and does not recognize subsp. murrayensis as valid, contending that this species has no infraspecific taxa and is quite variable with regard to the characters that have been used to distinguish these taxa. He also describes observations at two field sites that led him toward this conclusion, and further notes that Garden (1957) postulated naturally occurring hybrids, which can also be interpreted as evidence of a morphologically diverse taxon. On the other hand, the Flora of Australia (Hill 1998) holds them all to be distinguishable taxa. I have not seen them in habitat. Pending further information, they are retained here as separate taxa.


"Tree or shrub with erect or spreading branches, or a stunted, irregularly branched tree, sometimes several-stemmed, occasionally glaucous. Leaves 2-4 mm long. Female cones solitary or several together on stout, often clustered fruiting branchlets, remaining on branches long after maturity, ovoid to depressed-globose, 20-35 mm diam.; columella usually short and thick" (Harden 1990).

Callitris preissii ssp. preissii is a tree with erect or spreading branches. Cones are 25-30 mm in diameter, smooth or sparsely warted, broad-ovoid when immature, shorter than wide after maturity (Harden 1990).

Callitris preissii ssp. murrayensis is a J. Garden is a tree to 20 m tall with spreading branches, foliage olive green to blue-green. The cones are usually 25 mm or more in diameter, smooth or sparsely warted, ovoid when immature, longer than wide after maturity, cone glaucous at the base when immature (Harden 1990).

Distribution and Ecology

Australia: New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, and Western Australia (Harden 1990).

Zone 10 (cold hardiness limit between -1°C and +4.4°C) (Bannister and Neuner 2001).

Callitris preissii ssp. preissii is found throughout the species' range on sandstone hillsides, and in New South Wales, is "chiefly in the Rylstone to Goulburn R. district" (Harden 1990).

Callitris preissii ssp. murrayensis is found in New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia, but principally grows along the Murray River valley, especially on sandy ridges (Harden 1990).

Big tree




Aborigines on the Murray River made a combined canoe pole and fish spear nearly 4 m long from the wood of the tree. The resin provided a cement for fastening barbs to spears (ANBG 2002).




ANBG 2002. Australia National Botanical Garden, Aboriginal Trail page., accessed 2002.01.18, now defunct.

Garden, J. 1957. A revision of the genus Callitris. Contributions from the New South Wales National Herbarium 2(5):384-385.

Miquel, F.A.G. 1845. Cupressinae Richard. V.1, p.643-645 in J.G.C. Lehmann, Plantae Preissianae. Hamburg.

See also

C. preissii page with photos and map at the Flora of Western Australia, accessed 2009.12.09.

Farjon (2005) provides a detailed account, with illustrations.

Last Modified 2016-02-20