Family: Taxodiaceae

The three species of this genus of conifers from Tasmania in Australia are occasionally grown where the Climate is suitable, particularly in mild or frost-free areas with a cool growing season such as the Pacific Coast. They are very slow-growing but have interesting foliage and a rather compact, asymmetrical habit, generally not reaching tree size until 20 to 30 years old.


A. cupressoides, a small, open, irregularly shaped tree, grows to a height of around 10 m (33 ft). The pale green leaves are closely pressed to thick, fleshy branchlets.

A. laxifolia grows to about 10 m (33 ft). It has longer leaves, not as closely pressed as those of A. cupressoides.

A. selaginoides, King William (or Billy) pine, one of Tasmania's most famous timber trees, can reach heights of 30 m (100 ft) or more in its native habitat. It has a straight trunk, with irregular side branches and very small, narrow, dark green leaves, pointed at the tips. It is not an especially attractive tree, but it can live to a great age and size.


Athrotaxis prefers a moist, cool-temperate Climate, rich, well-drained, slightly acid soil, and full sun or partial shade. Cultivation is not difficult under these conditions. Propagate from seed or cuttings which strike quite easily.


Will thrive in zones 8 and 9.

Astrophytum      Athyrium