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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

Small tree often stunted and shrubby. Bark grey to brown, thinly fissured and flaking. Leaves needle-like and spreading when young, up to 2 cm long; scale-like when mature, c. 2 mm long, dark green, tightly appressed to the branches. Male cones 2-4 mm long with 6 pairs of scales, terminal; female cones, c. 2 cm in diameter with 4 valves, woody, dark brown, both sexes on the same tree.
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© Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten and Petra Ballings

Source: Flora of Zimbabwe

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Derivation of specific name

nodiflora: "flowering" at the nodes.
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© Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten and Petra Ballings

Source: Flora of Zimbabwe

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Distribution

Range Description

Recorded from southern Africa: Malawi (Mt. Mulanje), W Mozambique, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. Occurs in mountainous areas from S Malawi to the Cape. The extent of occurrence is in excess of 20,000 km2 and it is known from more than 10 locations. No estimates of its area of occupancy are available.
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© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Predominantly in cool and wet mountain fynbos, often in rocky outcrops and among boulders on summits, or in montane grassland often near streams, and in canyon woodland ('kloofbos'), accompanied by numerous fynbos genera (e.g. Leucadendron, Leucospermum, Metrosideros, Protea, Restio) or Pteridium, Myrica pilulifera and Poaceae, or forming pure stands. The altitude ranges from 100 m to 2,590 m a.s.l. Soils are nutrient-poor, acidic, derived mostly from granite, quarzite or sandstone. The climate varies from Mediterranean in the Cape region to subtropical with summer rains and tropical montane in Malawi. Unlike other members of its genus, this species is capable of coppicing: it resprouts after fire. It is common in fire-prone heathlands (Smith and Tainton 1985).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Source: IUCN

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Widdringtonia nodiflora

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Widdringtonia nodiflora

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2013

Assessor/s
Farjon, A.

Reviewer/s
Thomas, P.

Contributor/s

Justification
Widdringtonia nodiflora is widespread in southern Africa. No specific threats have been identified and no declines recorded. Therefore it is assessed as Least Concern.

History
  • 2007
    Least Concern
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Source: IUCN

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Population

Population
This species is common in at least some parts of its range.

Population Trend
Stable
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Threats

Major Threats
This widespread species, which is capable of coppicing after above-ground destruction (fire), is not threatened with extinction
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
This species is recorded from numerous protected areas.
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Wikipedia

Widdringtonia wallichii

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[2][3][4] and protected in South Africa under the National Forest Act (Act 84) of 1998.[5]

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.[2]

The tree is widely known as the "Clanwilliam Cedar" but botanists have recommended the name Clanwilliam Cypress to better reflect its botanical relationships.[6]

Chemical constituents[edit]

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%).[7] The wood oil contains thujopsene (47.1%), α-cedrol (10.7%), widdrol (8.5%) and cuparene (4.0%).[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 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. 
  2. ^ a b Farjon, A. (2005). Monograph of Cupressaceae and Sciadopitys. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. ISBN 1-84246-068-4
  3. ^ Hilton-Taylor, C. et al. 1998. Widdringtonia cedarbergensis. Downloaded on 10 July 2007.
  4. ^ Pauw, C. A. & Linder, H. P. 1997. Widdringtonia systematics, ecology and conservation status. Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 123: 297-319.
  5. ^ "Protected Trees". Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, Republic of South Africa. 30 June 2013. 
  6. ^ University of the Witwatersrand: Recommended English names for trees of Southern Africa
  7. ^ a b 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. 
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Widdringtonia nodiflora

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.

Contents

Appearance[edit]

A small Widdringtonia nodiflora specimen in cultivation as an ornamental. Cape Town.

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.[1]

Distribution[edit]

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. [1][2][3]

Growing the Mountain Cypress[edit]

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.

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