The sole species in Neocallitropsis Florin 1931 (syn: Callitropsis Compton) (Dallimore et al. 1967). Syn: Eutacta pancheri Carrière 1876, Callitropsis araucarioides Compton, Neocallitropsis araucarioides (Compton) Florin 1944. Holotype : Vieillard 1274 (P) (de Laubenfels 1972).
Tree dioecious, 2-10m tall, form often like a candelabra or wide, with the upper branches partly recumbent toward the sun. Bark more or less smooth with long furrows, exfoliating in thin, fibrous bands, brown to dark brown, changing to gray with age. Juvenile leaves lanceolate, sharp, concave on the upper side, with a carina on the back, spreading, 8-14 × 0.8 mm, changing gradually into a strong transitional form. Transitional leaves 6-15 × 1.8-2.5 mm, curved toward the top, changing into adult leaves. Adult leaves slightly spreading and more or less imbricate, lanceolate, sharp, with a strong dorsal carina and concave on the upper side, 4-5 × 2 mm. Pollen cone terminal, globular, 8-10 × 6 mm. Microsporophylls acuminate and thorny, reaching a size of 3 × 3 mm at the base of the cone but much smaller toward the top. Seed cone terminal, often on a very short shoot, 10 × 8 mm, having 8 scales with the rostrum spreading on the top, partially covered by the accompanying leaves underneath, greatly unfolds when the cone is ripe. Cone scales linear, about 6-7 mm long × 2mm wide without counting the rostrum parts, rectangular in a transversal cross section, 1-4 ripe seeds per cone. Seed about 6 × 2 mm, with a wing of 0.6 mm. Wood has a strong odor of camphor (de Laubenfels 1972).
New Caledonia. This tree is only found in small, scattered populations along the many rivers, especially in the southern part of the main island and along the ridges of Pic Buse on the southern flanks of Mt. des Sources at low altitudes and up to 950m above sea level. It grows in the middle maquis (see Gymnosperms of New Caledonia for a description) on serpentine. The pedomorphic form is comparable to that of Dacrydium guillauminii with which it is often associated; it is an adaptation to serpentine. The candelabra form is also characteristic of trees growing in serpentine soils, like Callitris neocaledonica Dummer (1914), another allied species (de Laubenfels 1972).
Zone 10 (cold hardiness limit between -1°C and +4.4°C) (Bannister and Neuner 2001).
De Laubenfels (1972) reports collections from the following locales:
The genus name is derived from the species' resemblance to Callitris (Dallimore et al. 1967).
Compton. 1922. Journal of the Linnaean Society 45:433. pl. 27.
Florin. 1944. Palaeontographica 1:35, Abt. B. 590.
Thanks to Ferenc Kiss for translating de Laubenfels from the French (2003.11).
Association Endemia, a site devoted to New Caledonian species. Has excellent photos, a range map, and other information. In French.
Farjon (2005) provides a detailed account, with illustrations.
Last Modified 2012-11-23