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By Rhysw

wellington, New Zealand Nz

Is this a thuja plicata (western red cedar) ? I thought it was but the crushed leaves dont have the distinctive smell (like antiseptic). Any thoughts ?

Thuja_1 Thuja_2 Thuja_3



Judging by the immature cone, its more likely to be a Chamaecyparis variety, but posting another pic of a ripe cone later on would be definitive (the one in the photo isn't quite in focus either). Both Chamaecyparis and Thuja have tiny,scale like leaves grouped in fours around the stem, formed in flattened sprays. Chamaecyparis has small, round cones and the scales have central stalks (when mature) whereas Thuja has a small, elongated cone and the scales turn outwards as it matures, so it looks sort of tufty.

29 Mar, 2019


Thats so helpful, thanks. The squashed nature of the leaves and the white markings made me automatically assume it was thuja plicata but it didnt have the distinctive smell and I am not familiar with the cones.

Could it be C. psifera (sawara cypress) as I would have thought the leaves are too pointed to be C. Obtusa (hinoki cypress) and the white markings are v different from C Lawsoniana (lawson cypress) and Cupressocyparis Leylandi (leyland cypress) ?

29 Mar, 2019


Actually, just spotted the following online which looks very similar. Think it is C. Psifera. Thanks

29 Mar, 2019


That might be it - to be honest, I wasn't trying to find the variety, simply trying to decide between species of conifer - knowing which species it is means at least you're looking at the right range of varieties, and Chamaecyparis seemed to right, rather than Thuja (which is obviously a different species). The most difficult part of conifer ID is deciding on the species first...

29 Mar, 2019

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