Chamaecyparis is genus of conifers in the family Cupressaceae, native to eastern Asia and western and eastern North America. It is one of several genera within the Cupressaceae that have the common name cypress; for others, see cypress (disambiguation). Synonyms include Retinispora Siebold & Zucc. and Retinospora Carr.
They are medium-sized to large evergreen trees growing to 20-70 m tall, with foliage in flat sprays. The leaves are of two types, needle-like juvenile leaves on young seedlings up to a year old, and scale-like adult leaves. The cones are globose to oval, with 8-14 scales arranged in opposite decussate pairs; each scale bears 2-4 small seeds.
There are five or six species, depending on taxonomic opinion:
C. taiwanensis is treated by many authors as a variety of C. obtusa (as C. obtusa var. formosana).
Another species which used to be included in this genus, as Chamaecyparis nootkatensis, has now been transferred on the basis of strong genetic and morphological evidence to the separate genus Callitropsis as Callitropsis nootkatensis, or back to Cupressus nootkatensis (the name it was originally described under in 1824).
The wood is scented, and is highly valued, particularly in Japan, where it is used for temple construction.
Slow growth, long-lived trees, and minimal disturbance characterize the dynamics of an ancient, montane forest in coastal British Columbia.
Nov 01, 2006; Abstract: Elucidating the factors that structure very old forests is crucial to understanding their dynamics. We reconstructed...