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Athrotaxis laxifolia Hook.

Modern name

Athrotaxis × laxifolia Hook.


A. doniana Gordon

This rather puzzling species is in many respects intermediate between the other two, but nearer to A. cupressoides. It is said to be rare in nature, occurring only as isolated trees near one or other of its two allies, but showing no sign of hybridity (Winifred Curtis, The Students Flora of Tasmania). It differs from A. cupressoides in the longer, much less appressed leaves, the points of which are sharp and incurved, but quite free. Branchlets round, slender, the final subdivisions (including the foliage) 16 in. wide (cf. A. selaginoides, in which they are much stouter); leaves 16 to 14 in. long, ovate-lanceolate, keeled and thickened down the middle, with a sharp, rather hook-like point, inner surface with bands of stomata on each side the midrib. Cones about 35 in. wide; scales with a thin, acuminate process on the back near the apex.

A. laxifolia is the commonest of the three species in cultivation and has thrived the best, many specimens exceeding the maximum height of 40 ft said to be attained by wild trees. The following list is restricted to examples of 40 ft or above in height: Scorrier House, Cornwall, 63 × 712 ft (1965); Tregrehan, Cornwall, 55 × 234 ft (1965); Trevarrick Hall, Cornwall, 50 × 514 ft (1965); Trewidden, Cornwall, 45 × 414 ft (1959); Lynhales, Heref., 41 × 5 ft (1961); Grayswood Hill, Surrey, 40 × 212 ft (1955). In Ireland the only example above 40 ft so far recorded is at Kilmacurragh, Co. Wicklow, 50 ft high, on two stems, 6 and 5 ft in girth (1966).

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

specimens: Lynhales, Heref., 42 × 512 ft (1975); Tregrehan, Cornwall, 56 × 314 ft (1979); Scorrier House, Cornwall, 59 × 814 ft (1979); Bodnant, Gwyn., 49 × 312 ft (1981); Benmore, Argyll, 41 × 414 ft (1983); Crathes Castle, Angus, 33 × 234 ft (1981); Kilmacurragh, Co. Wicklow, Eire, 59 × 614 + 512 ft (1980).



Other species in the genus