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Callitropsis nootkatensis (D. Don) Oerst. ex D.P. Little
Alaska Cedar, Alaska-cedar, Yellow Cedar, Nootka Cedar
Cupressaceae (Cypress Family)
Synonym(s): Chamaecyparis nootkatensis, Cupressus nootkatensis, Xanthocyparis nootkatensis
USDA Symbol: CANO9
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), AK (N), CAN (N)
Tree with narrow crown and horizontal or slightly drooping branches. Usually a medium-sized tree of 80 ft., Alaska-cedar ranges in height from 15-150 ft., depending mostly on elevation. Mature trees have a narrow profile, stringy white bark, a buttressed trunk and weeping branches. The evergreen foliage, in flat, drooping sprays, is a dull, dark green.
The durable wood has a pleasant, resinous odor; it is used for furniture, interior finish, and boats. Northwest Coast Indians made canoe paddles from the wood and carved ceremonial masks from the trunks.
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Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Fruit Type: Cone
Size Notes: Up to about 150 feet.
Fruit: Pollen cones brown. Though technically incorrect, the seed cones are often referred to as berries.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr
DistributionUSA: AK , CA , OR , WA
Native Distribution: Coastal s.e. AK, s., at increasing elevations, to Siskiyou Co., CA
Native Habitat: Moist, sea level areas in the north to timberline areas in the south
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Wet
CaCO3 Tolerance: None
Soil Description: Coarse, moist soil.
Conditions Comments: Callitropsis nootkatensis is slow-growing and useful in urban settings.
PropagationDescription: Propagation is by seeds or cuttings. Seed germination is not high.
Seed Collection: Cones mature in Sept. and Oct. at the end of the first growing season. Each cone scale bears from 1-5 winged seeds.
Seed Treatment: Warm-moist stratify for 30 days then stratify 30 more days at 40 degrees. A cool-moist stratification alone may improve germination also.
Commercially Avail: yes
National Wetland Indicator Status
Web ReferenceWebref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Callitropsis nootkatensis in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Callitropsis nootkatensis in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Callitropsis nootkatensis
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-03-23
Research By: TWC Staff