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Atlantic White cedar (Chamaecyparis thyoides)

Also known as Atlantic white-cedar, Southern white cedar, Atlantic white cypress, southern white cedar, whitecedar, false-cypress.

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Range - Expand


This tentative map is based on the FHWA's ERA. This data lacks information on Canada, but also overestimates native ranges, especially around the edges, as this post explains. We have not yet reviewed or fixed this map.

USDA Plants Profile for Chamaecyparis thyoides

Fire Effects Information System (FEIS) Article for Chamaecyparis thyoides

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Found along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, in bogs, swamp forests, moist depressions, glacial kettles, along streams, and in other low, wet areas. Found in nutrient-poor, acidic soils (pH 3.5 to 5.5), including both sandy soils and organic muck or peat, but absent from areas where peat is underlain by or intermixed with silt or clay. Often found on sites that experience seasonally flooding up to 1-2 feet, but are drier in summer.

Life Cycle

Open-grown trees mature rapidly and begin producing seed at 3 to 5 years of age, with good seed production starting as early as the fourth year. Trees growing with competition may not produce seed until 10-20 years of age.

Seeds are lightweight and wind-dispersed; seeds do not always germinate immediately and form a short-term seed bank, with some germinating within a year but others not germinating for 2 years or more.

Seedlings establish best in open peat, rotting wood, sphagnum moss, or muck. Seedlings initially are sensitive to both drought and flooding.

Trees can live over 1,000 years, but most trees rarely live longer than 200 years.

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