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Agathis australis

Agathis australis
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Product Information

Scientific name: Agathis australis (D.Don) Lindley  1829

Synonyms: Dammara australis D.Don, Dammara purpurascens W.Bull, Salisburyodendron australis (D.Don) A.V.Bobrov & Melikyan            

Common names:New Zealand kauri, Kauri (Maori)



Tree to 40(-60) m tall, with a massively cylindrical (or somewhat squared off), unbuttressed trunk to 4.5(-7) m in diameter and free of branches for up to (20(-30) m in fully mature trees. Bark very resinous, smooth and light brown at first, thickening , weathering very light gray and flaking continuously to produce fine mottling on a background of intersecting, shallow and narrow spiral ridges with great size and age. Crown conical at first and then passing through a prolonged, narrowly cylindrical “ricker” phase before shedding the lower branches and becoming broadly dome- or vase-shaped as the tree enters the canopy at maturity, with a ring of very heavy, upwardly angled, widely spreading limbs at the summit of the unbranched trunk bearing crowded tufts of branchlets. Branchlet bluish green with wax, this sometimes wearing off and then the twigs becoming green before turning brown with age, densely clothed with foliage. Leaves yellowish green to bright green (to coppery green in juveniles) above, variably bluish green with wax beneath, (1.5-)2-3.5(-5) cm long (to 10 cm in juveniles), (0.3-)0.5-1(-1.5) cm wide (to 2 cm in juveniles), widest near or before (or a little beyond) the middle, tapering gradually or abruptly to the rounded or bluntly triangular tip (sharply triangular in juveniles) and less gradually to the wedge-shaped to rounded base attached directly to the twig or on a very short, broad petiole 1-3(-5) mm long. Pollen cones (2-)2.5-5(-6) cm long, (0.7-)1.2-2 cm thick, with four to six pairs of larger, sterile scales at the base, the lowest (none or) one or two pairs leaflike, on a stalk (0-)2-20 mm long. Seed cones with remnants of a waxy film at maturity, often spotted with resin, roughly spherical, often a little wider than long, (4.5-)5.5-7.5(-9) cm long and thick. Seed body about 7-10 mm long and 3.5-5 mm wide, the larger wing about 7-15 mm by 5-10 mm, the smaller one bluntly triangular, barely projecting 0-2 mm.

Northwestern tip of North Island, New Zealand, north of 38°06’S. Forming pure stands in youth, later scattered singly or in small groves or dominating as an emergent over mixed rain forest with various hardwoods and other conifers, with best development on slightly drier sites with limited mineral nutrients; (0-)80-350(-600) m.


Conservation Status

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened



Farjon, A. (2010). A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.

Eckenwalder, J.E. (2009) Conifers of the World: The Complete Reference. Timber Press, Portland.

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. Cambridge, UK /Gland, Switzerland


Copyright © Aljos Farjon, James E. Eckenwalder, IUCN, Conifers Garden. All rights reserved.

Product CodeAGAYK7Q777

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