Common Name: Northern Cypress Pine

Botanical Name: Callitris intratropica

This is a tall, straight tree growing 15–18m high. It has tiny leaves and deeply furrowed bark. Small round, woody cones develop up to 1cm in diameter and split open when ripe. Found in open forest and woodland in sandstone and lowland country, particularly in West Arnhem Land and Melville Island. 

Aboriginal Uses 

Gum is used to fasten woomera pegs and spear heads. Bark and leaves are used as insect repellent. Wood is used to make paddles, woomeras, fighting sticks, spears and music sticks.  An infusion from the inner bark is used to treat diarrhoea.   

Interesting Facts

An excellent timber for houses, floors and fence posts, cypress pine is also resistant to termites due to its high oil content. During the mission days on Elcho Island, a cypress pine logging industry and sawmill was established. Timber was used to build hospitals, churches, houses and fishing boats.

In more recent times, cypress pine oil is being distilled and marketed for its medicinal properties which include anti-bacterial and calming properties.

Trees are often used as a metaphor for people in the Scriptures.  There are many passages that describe similarities between the appearance and life cycle of a tree and that of the human life.

But I will bless those 
who trust me, the Lord. 
They will be like trees 
growing beside a stream- trees with roots that reach down to the water, and with leaves 
that are always green. 
They bear fruit every year and are never worried by a lack of rain.
Jeremiah 17:7-8