homebanner homebanner homebanner homebanner homebanner homebanner
Fitzroya cupressoides - (Molina.)I.M.Johnst.
Common Name Alerce, Patagonian cypress
Family Cupressaceae
USDA hardiness 7-10
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Usually found in boggy ground up to 800 metres, though it is also found at higher and cooler altitudes that have high atmospheric humidity, it is then usually associated with Nothofagus dombeyi.
Range S. America - Chile, Argentina.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Frost Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun


Fitzroya cupressoides Alerce, Patagonian cypress

Fitzroya cupressoides Alerce, Patagonian cypress
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of cone
Fitzroya cupressoides is an evergreen Tree growing to 10 m (32ft) by 6 m (19ft) at a slow rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 8. It is in leaf 12-Jan, and the seeds ripen in October. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required) and are pollinated by Wind.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

F. patagonica. Pinus cupressoides.

Woodland Garden Canopy; Secondary;
Edible Uses
None known
Medicinal Uses
Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

None known


Other Uses
Fibre;  Wood.

A fibre obtained from the inner bark is used for caulking boats[139]. Wood - light, very durable, immune to insect attacks, of excellent quality. It is used for construction, carpentry, musical instruments etc[46, 61, 139].
Cultivation details
This species dislikes soils that dry out rapidly, preferring an acid soil with a pH around 5[200]. It grows best in humid conditions, especially on north facing slopes or in the shelter of a woodland edge[200]. It dislikes cold drying winds[200]. A very ornamental tree[1], it is much hardier in Britain than was once thought[11]. Generally a very slow growing tree in Britain but young plants can grow 30cm a year and growth can continue until October[185]. A very slow growing and long-lived tree in its native habitat[139, 200], probably to 3000 years or more, but trees are unlikely to survive that long in Britain[200]. Plants grow best in the mild and damp maritime climate of south-west and west Britain[185, 200]. Plants can be monoecious or dioecious, though they are more often dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is to be produced, though there is a report that trees rarely produce fertile seed in Britain[200]..
Seed - we have no information on this species but suggest sowing the seed in early spring in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Once they have reached a height of at least 30cm, plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts[200]. Cuttings, August, in a sandy soil in a frame[1].
Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants


Print Friendly and PDF
Expert comment
Botanical References
Links / References
For a list of references used on this page please go here
Readers comment
ak jinn   Sat Apr 17 15:47:56 2004
biggest tree in southern hemisphere, height usually 40 to 50 m, excepcionally 70 m, trunk diameter usually 1 - 3 m, excepcionally 5 m, growth rate extremely slow, 1 mm. width per year, known to live 3665 years, needs at least 2500 mm of precipitation, grows better at 4000 mm. Chile and Argentina. Patagonia. Moderately cold winters ( from 0 to 4 degrees average) and mild cool summers ( 12 to 15 degrees average).
Tomás Natiello   Tue Aug 10 17:49:01 2004
Alerces National Park in Argentina is the best place to see some ftioroya of about 3000/4000 year old. It is near a city called Esquel in Patagonia

Link: Web Esquel Info about Los Alerces National Park

shane thomson   Wed Nov 21 2007
can this tree be bought in britan or seeds.
someone   Thu Nov 29 2007
are you sure that there are no medical purposes?
QR Code

What's this?

This is a QR code (short for Quick Response) which gives fast-track access to our website pages. QR Codes are barcodes that can be read by mobile phone (smartphone) cameras. This QR Code is unique to this page. All plant pages have their own unique code. For more information about QR Codes click here.

1. Copy and print the QR code to a plant label, poster, book, website, magazines, newspaper etc and even t-shirts.
2. Smartphone users scan the QR Code which automatically takes them to the webpage the QR Code came from.
3. Smartphone users quickly have information on a plant directly for the pfaf.org website on their phone.
Add a comment

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at admin@pfaf.org. If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

To leave a comment please Register or login here All comments need to be approved so will not appear immediately.

Subject : Fitzroya cupressoides  

Plant Uses

Edible Uses
Medicinal Uses
Other Plant uses
Woodland Gardening
Why Perennial Plants?
Top Edible Plants
Top Medicinal Plants
Garden Design

Twiter      Facebook


Content Help
Support Us
Old Database Search
About Us
Sign In

PFAF Newsletter

Stay informed about PFAFs progress,
challenges and hopes by signing up for
our free email ePost. You will receive
a range of benefits including:
* Important announcements and news
* Exclusive content not on the website
* Updates on new information &
functionality of the website & database

We will not sell or share your email address.
You can unsubscribe at anytime.