Diselma Genus (Cheshunt pine)

1 Species with 1 Trinomials

Diselma archeri as described in 1857 by Joseph Dalton Hooker (1817–1911), in Flora Tasmaniae is a species of conifer in the Cupressaceae family and the sole species in the genus Diselma. The species name honors William Archer (1820 - 1874), a Tasmanian businessman and amateur botanist. The common name, Cheshunt pine, commemorates Archer's estate "Cheshunt" in Tasmania.

Fitzroya archeri (Hook.f.) Benth. & Hook. is syonymous.

Description. Cheshunt pine is a dioecious shrub or rarely, a small tree, growing to mature heights of 3 to 20 feet (1 - 6 m) tall.

  • The leaves are scale-like, measuring 0.08 to 0.12 inch (2 - 3 mm_ long, arranged in four ranks in opposite decussate pairs.
  • The seed cones are among the smallest of any conifer, measuring 0.08 to 0.12 inch (2 - 3 mm) long, green at first, ripening brown in about 7 to 8 months after pollination, and have four seed scales arranged in two opposite pairs, each scale bearing a short bract; the upper pair of scales bearing two small winged seeds.

Distribution. This species is endemic to the alpine regions of Tasmania's southwest and central highlands, on the western coast ranges and Lake St. Clair, at altitudes ranging from 3,000 to 4,000 feet (910 - 1,220 m) above sea level.