CITESwoodID: descriptions, illustrations, identification and information retrieval

DELTA Home

H. G. Richter, K. Gembruch, G. Koch

Fitzroya cupressoides (Molina) I.M. Johnston (Alerce) - CITES I

Nomenclature. Family: CUPRESSACEAE. Synonym(s): Fitzroya patagonica, Pinus cupressoides. Further trade and local names: Patagonian cypress (GB); lahuan (CL). Code according to DIN EN 13556: FICP. Internal code: ALE.

CITES(EU) status of protection. Listed in Annex I(A). Similar woods: Sequoia sempervirens, Thuja plicata.

Geographic distribution. Temperate South America. Southern Chile and neighbouring Argentina.

Growth rings, colour, grain, etc. Growth ring boundaries distinct; transition from earlywood to latewood gradual. Heartwood basically brown to red; without streaks. Sapwood distinct from heartwood colour (narrow and light coloured). The prominent latewood zones produce a decorative figure on tangential (V-shaped markings) and radial (fine striping) faces. Odour indistinct or absent. Wood light weight and soft (0,33–0,41 g/cm3). Interlocked grain absent.

Hardwood vs softwood. Vessels (pores) absent (= softwood).

Rays. Rays narrow. Large rays commonly less than 1 mm high.

Resin canals. Normal resin canals absent.

Physical and chemical tests. Heartwood not fluorescent. Water extract not fluorescent; colourless to brown to red. Heartwood extractives not leachable by water. Ethanol extract not fluorescent; colourless to brown and red. Froth test negative. Splinter burns to partial ash; colour of ash white to grey.

Additional information. • ale.jpg. Fitzroya cupressoides (Alerce). Transverse section ca. 10x. Tangential surface, natural size. • ale-red.jpg. Fitzroya cupressoides (Alerce). Sequoia sempervirens (Redwood). Fitzroya cupressoides und Sequoia sempervirens are practically identical in colour, figure, weight and structure. Macroscopically they cannot be distinguished. Only reliable information on the timber's origin can help. • ale-wrc.jpg. Fitzroya cupressoides (Alerce). Thuja plicata (Western Red Cedar). Fitzroya cupressoides and Thuja plicata are virtually indistinguishable given their similar macro structure. The aromatic odour and yellowish hue of Thuja plicata, however, is of much help in separating the two timbers.


The interactive key allows access to the character list, illustrations, full and partial descriptions, diagnostic descriptions, differences and similarities between taxa, lists of taxa exhibiting specified attributes, summaries of attributes within groups of taxa, and geographical distribution.

Cite this publication as: ‘Richter, H.G., Gembruch, K., and Koch, G. 2014 onwards. CITESwoodID: descriptions, illustrations, identification, and information retrieval. In English, French, German, and Spanish. Version: 16th May 2014. delta-intkey.com’.

Contents