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Tropicals, Woody > Callitris > Callitris rhomboidea > Callitris rhomboidea

Callitris rhomboidea

Oyster Bay Pine

Origin:  Native to South Australia, Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.
Tropicals, Woody
Tree (evergreen)
USDA Hardiness Zone
8a - 11
Canadian Hardiness Zone
8b - 9b
RHS Hardiness Zone
Temperature (°C)
Temperature (°F)
9 - 15 m
2 - 3 m
Description and Growing Information
Flowering Period
General Description
It bears light green glaucous leafs and closely spaced branching forming a pyramidal tree. Its male cones are small and a dark brown, singly or in clusters while the larger female cones are clustered on fruiting branchlets and can remain there long after maturity.
Use as a shade tree.
Can be grown in full sun to partial shade. Is very drought tolerant but should not be planted in poorly draining soils. Should be planted at the end of summer – this allows for optimal growth and establishment of the seedlings. Trimming into a hedge is optional. If left to grow unhindered a pyramidal shape will form over time.
Vertical, small, pyramidal top.
ID Characteristic
It has dark grey cones usually found in clusters. The light green leaves form into a whorl formation, with the adult usually bearing whorls of three. Throughout the branch length, its weaving formation creates a dense copy in a pyramidal shape.
Few pests are an issue for the Oyster Bay pine, but it does have issues with fires in its dry native environment. It can regrow after being burnt, but if burnt severely enough it will die. Grazing sheep can destroy seedlings.
Bark/Stem Description
The bark is a smooth dark brown, weathering over time into a dark grey. Some seed variances, as well as different environments, have produced a more rigid, textured and coarser bark.
Flower/Leaf Bud Description
Oval shaped, 3 mm long.
Leaf Description
Glaucous light to dark green leaves that are 1.5-4 mm long, forming a whorl formation of 3 once mature.
Flower Description
Flowers are perfect and they occur in clusters. Each flower is approximately 1.5 cm in diameter with five white petals and pink anthers.
Fruit Description
Male cones are orange, small and round, individually or clustered and are typically 1-2 mm long. Female cones are much larger and longer at 2.5-4 mm, dark grey colour, once mature, cones may remain on the tree for years.
Notable Specimens
A notable specimen was documented in 2012 in Nelson Square, Picton, New Zealand. The tree recorded there was actually bigger than any found back in its native homeland.
Propagate by seed. Break open cones releasing the seeds inside (about 40, half of which are viable). Sow at the end of summer. Seeds should germinate after 3-4 weeks and be established by the following year. Ground covers such as Tussock grass can be used to optimize the nursing of the seeds. Pests such as sheep can be avoided by using dead tree limbs to protect the plant. Plant 3-4 m apart.
Ethnobotanical Uses (Disclaimer)
In the past the lumber from the Oyster Bay Pine was used by aboriginals. Modern uses of the tree include fine cabinetry and wood lining for the interior of boats.
Key to Tasmanian Dicots. (n.d.). Retrieved March 24, 2016, from Landscape architect's pages. (n.d.). Retrieved March 24, 2016, from