Maine Title Image Large
© Pete Saloutos/Panoramic Images (Maine Title Image Large)

Atlantic White Cedar (Chamaecyparis thyoides)

Atlantic white cedar is an evergreen tree, up to 25 m high, with small, scale-like leaves and characteristic cedar fragrance. Atlantic white cedar can be distinguished from northern white cedar, which is common and widespread in Maine, because the branchlets bearing the leaves are rounded, not flattened; by the bluish-green color of the foliage (as opposed to the yellowish-green of northern white cedar); and by the fruits which are small and spherical rather than elongate. 

Atlantic white cedar grows in swamps, bogs, and fens chiefly on the coastal plains. In a typical Atlantic white cedar swamp, it forms a dense canopy that allows little light penetration and limits understory growth. Since Atlantic white cedar seedlings are relatively intolerant of shade, some forms of disturbance may be required to regenerate Atlantic white cedar.

Learn more about this species by visiting its page on the Maine Natural Areas website.

Copyright © 2019 NatureServe. All Rights Reserved.