Derivation of specific name
Habitat and Ecology
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Widdringtonia nodiflora
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Widdringtonia nodiflora
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
- 2007Least Concern
Widdringtonia wallichii previously Widdringtonia cedarbergensis (Clanwilliam Cedar or Clanwilliam Cypress) is a species of Widdringtonia native to South Africa, where it is endemic to the Cederberg Mountains northeast of Cape Town in Western Cape Province. It is threatened by habitat loss and protected in South Africa under the National Forest Act (Act 84) of 1998.
It is a small evergreen tree growing to 5–7 m (rarely to 20 m) tall. The leaves are scale-like, 1.5 mm long and 1 mm broad on small shoots, up to 15 mm long on strong-growing shoots, and arranged in opposite decussate pairs. The cones are globose to rectangular, 2–3 cm long, with four scales.
The tree is widely known as the "Clanwilliam Cedar" but botanists have recommended the name Clanwilliam Cypress to better reflect its botanical relationships.
The essential oil derived from leaves contains terpinen-4-ol (36.0%), sabinene (19.2%), γ-terpinene (10.4%), α-terpinene (5.5%) and myrcene (5.5%). The wood oil contains thujopsene (47.1%), α-cedrol (10.7%), widdrol (8.5%) and cuparene (4.0%).
- Farjon, A., February, E., Higgins, S., Fox, S. & Raimondo, D. (2013). "Widdringtonia cedarbergensis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved May 9, 2014.
- Farjon, A. (2005). Monograph of Cupressaceae and Sciadopitys. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. ISBN 1-84246-068-4
- Hilton-Taylor, C. et al. 1998. Widdringtonia cedarbergensis. Downloaded on 10 July 2007.
- Pauw, C. A. & Linder, H. P. 1997. Widdringtonia systematics, ecology and conservation status. Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 123: 297-319.
- "Protected Trees". Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, Republic of South Africa. 30 June 2013.
- University of the Witwatersrand: Recommended English names for trees of Southern Africa
- Kamatou, G.P.P.; Viljoen, A.M.; Özek, T.; Başer, K.H.C. (2010). "Chemical composition of the wood and leaf oils from the "Clanwilliam Cedar" (Widdringtonia cedarbergensis J.A. Marsh): A critically endangered species". South African Journal of Botany 76 (4): 652. doi:10.1016/j.sajb.2010.04.002.
Widdringtonia nodiflora (Mountain Cypress) is a species of Widdringtonia native to Southern Africa. It usually grows at high altitudes, typically among rocks on mountainsides. Its foliage and wood are highly flammable while its natural habitat is prone to fire. To compensate, the species will coppice from its roots after being burnt down.
It is an evergreen multistemmed shrub or small to rarely medium-sized tree growing to 5–7 m (rarely to 25 m) tall. The leaves are scale-like, 1.5–2 mm long and 1-1.5 mm broad on small shoots, up to 10 mm long on strong-growing shoots, and arranged in opposite decussate pairs. The cones are globose, 1–2 cm long, with four scales. Each tree produces both male and female cones. It is unique in the genus in its ability to coppice, readily re-sprouting from burnt or cut stumps; this enables it to survive wildfires, and is considered a major factor in allowing its abundance relative to the other species in the genus. Its wood is highly non-flammable - another adaptation for its fire-prone environment.
It occurs naturally from Table Mountain in the south, to southern Malawi, southern Mozambique, eastern Zimbabwe and throughout eastern and southern South Africa. It is the only widespread species in its genus, and the only one not threatened or endangered. It is closely related to the endangered cypress ("Cedar") of the Cedarberg mountains.
As its name suggests, the Mountain Cypress is usually found at high altitudes on mountainsides, growing among rocks, and in gullies, typically in mountain fynbos and grassland. They normally occur in small groups, like the little forest of them on the mountain above Kirstenbosch. 
Growing the Mountain Cypress
Planted in a pot, this tree makes an interesting (and reusable) Southern Hemisphere Christmas tree. The Mountain Cypress makes an attractive, water-wise and environmentally friendly indigenous alternative to the pine tree. This tree can be propagated from seed, sown during autumn in well-drained sand. The seeds germinate relatively well, over several weeks. It grows about 0.3 meters a year. It makes a good container plant and ornamental tree. It also grows well in a cool or wet climate and it is resistant to frost.