Chamaecyparis thyoides

Botanical Name: Chamaecyparis thyoides
Family: Cupressaceae
Genus: Chamaecyparis
Species: C. thyoides
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales

Synonyms:
Chamaecyparis thyoides (L.) Britton, Sterns & Poggenb.

CHHE4 Chamaecyparis henryae Li
CHTHH Chamaecyparis thyoides (L.) Britton, Sterns & Poggenb. var. henryae (Li) Little

Common Names :Atlantic White Cypress or Atlantic White cedar

Habitat :Chamaecyparis thyoides is   native to the Atlantic coast of North America from Maine south to Georgia, with a disjunct population on the Mexican Gulf coast from Florida to Mississippi. It grows on wet sites on the coastal plain at altitudes from sea level up to 50 m, more rarely in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains up to 460 m altitude.

Description:
Chamaecyparis thyoides is an evergreen coniferous tree growing to 20-28 m (rarely to 35 m) tall, with feathery foliage in moderately flattened sprays, green to glaucous blue-green in color. The leaves are scale-like, 2-4 mm long, and produced in opposite decussate pairs on somewhat flattened shoots; seedlings up to a year old have needle-like leaves. The seed cones are globose, 4-9 mm diameter, with 6-10 scales, green or purple, maturing brown in 5–7 months after pollination. The pollen cones are purple or brown, 1.5–3 mm long and 1–2 mm broad, releasing their yellow pollen in spring.

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There are two geographically isolated subspecies, treated by some botanists as distinct species, by others at just varietal rank:

Chamaecyparis thyoides subsp. thyoides (Atlantic Whitecedar). Atlantic coast, Maine to Georgia. Leaves and cones usually glaucous blue-green; facial leaves flat, not ridged; cones 4-7 mm long. (Least concern)
Chamaecyparis thyoides subsp. henryae (H.L.Li) E.Murray (Gulf Whitecedar; syn. Chamaecyparis thyoides subsp. henryae (H.L.Li) Little; Chamaecyparis henryae H.L.Li). Mexican Gulf coast, Florida to Mississippi. Leaves and cones always green, not glaucous; facial leaves with a longitudinal ridge; cones 6-9 mm long. (Near threatened)
Older gypsy moth caterpillars sometimes eat the foliage, whereas young ones will avoid it.

Cultivation :
Chamaecyparis thyoides is of some importance in horticulture, with several cultivars of varying crown shape, growth rates and foliage color having been selected for garden planting. Named cultivars include ‘Andelyensis’ (dwarf, with dense foliage), ‘Ericoides’ (juvenile foliage), and ‘Glauca’ (strongly glaucous foliage).

Medicinal Uses:
A decoction of the leaves has been used as a herbal steam for treating headaches and backaches. A poultice made from the crushed leaves and bark has been applied to the head to treat headaches.

Other Uses:
The wood is reported to endure moisture indefinitely; it has been used for fence-posts, ties and shingles

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chamaecyparis_thyoides

http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=CHTH2

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