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Chamaecyparis is a genus of seven species of cypresses, native to eastern Asia and North America. They occur in regions with high rainfall and humidity, and are trees growing to 20-70 metres tall with flattened sprays of foliage with scale leaves. They differ from cypresses in the genus Cupressus in having cones that mature in 6-8 months after pollination.

The circumscription of the genus has been revised in recent years on the basis of genetic data combined with a better understanding of morphological variation in allied genera. One species formerly treated in a different genus Fokienia has been merged into Chamaecyparis as Chamaecyparis hodginsii, while two species formerly sometimes included in Chamaecyparis have been transferred to Cupressus, as Cupressus funebris and Cupressus nootkatensis.

Species accepted here are:

*Chamaecyparis formosensis (Formosan Cypress). Taiwan.

*Chamaecyparis hodginsii (Fujian Cypress). Southeastern Asia.

*Chamaecyparis lawsoniana (Lawson's Cypress). Western North America.

*Chamaecyparis obtusa (Hinoki Cypress). Japan.

*Chamaecyparis pisifera (Sawara Cypress). Japan.

*Chamaecyparis taiwanensis (Taiwan Cypress). Taiwan.

*Chamaecyparis thyoides (White Cypress). Eastern North America.

C. thyoides has two subspecies, subsp. thyoides on the Atlantic coast, and subsp. henryae on the Gulf coast. C. taiwanensis is sometimes treated as a variety of C. obtusa (as C. obtusa var. formosana).

Some of the species have sometimes been incorrectly called cedars.


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© Michаel Frаnkis

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