NC Native Plant Society:
Plant Details

Chamaecyparis thyoides

Atlantic White Cedar, Juniper

Scientific Name:

Chamaecyparis thyoides



Species Epithet:


Common Name:

Atlantic White Cedar, Juniper

Plant Type


Plant Family

Cupressaceae (Cypress Family)


NC Native


36-72 ft.


Sun - 6 or more hours of sun per day

Soil Moisture:

Moist, Wet

Bloom Time:

March, April

Growing Area:

Sandhills, Coastal Plain

Habitat Description:

Peat dome and streamhead pocosins, blackwater stream swamps, hillside seepages, in highly acidic, peaty or sandy soils.

Leaf Retention:


Leaf Type:

Leaves needle-like or scale-like

Wildlife Value:

Has some wildlife value

Landscape Value:

Suitable for home landscapes


This was the major boat building material along the Atlantic Coast for many years. In eastern NC, it is called simply "Juniper" and persons speak of going out in a Juniper Skiff. Juniper lumber looks very similar to Bald Cypress but is slightly lighter than cypress. The tree has even been called "Boat Juniper" in some areas. Juniper is more tolerant to salt spray and salt water than is cypress. Some feel that we should be planting it in the low areas of eastern NC as a long term hedge against the ravages of sea level rise. Juniper grows in single species thickets and the trees grow very close together, even after they are large trees.
Provides cover for birds and wildlife.
building, shingles, and other uses. The wood is valuable enough (and resistant enough to rot) to have been mined from bogs in NJ. NC has some of the largest
remaining stands of Atlantic White Cedar, in areas of very difficult access, such as the interiors of major peat-domes and large peat-filled Carolina bays.

Young Cones


Jack Spruill
Hamstead, NC

Mature Cones


Jack Spruill
Hamstead, NC


USDA PLANTS Database Record

NCSU Plants Duke Trees

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