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Libocedrus plumosa

Libocedrus plumosa
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Product Information

Scientific name: Libocedrus plumose (D.Don) Druce  1917

Synonyms:Dacrydium plumosum D.Don, Libocedrus doniana (Hook.) Endl., Thuja doniana Hook.

Common names:New Zealand cedar, Kawaka (Maori)



Tree to 25 m tall, with trunk to 1.2 m in diameter. Bark reddish brown, peeling in long vertical strips. Crown dense, conical, with numerous horizontal or gently drooping branches densely clothed with tufted foliage near their ends. Shoots arranged in fernlike sprays with a definite top and bottom side, composed of flattened branchlets arising in opposite pairs from the axils of all pairs of lateral leaves on either side of a specialized side shoot. Facial and lateral leaves very different in both juvenile and adult foliage, the lateral leaves much larger than the facial ones. Lateral leaves of juveniles 4-6 mm long, pointed and pointing forward, those of adults 2-3 mm long, rounded and pressed against the back edge of the next leaf. Tips of facial leaves falling far short of touching the bases of the next ones along the branchlet. Pollen cones four-angled, 4-6 mm long, with four to seven alternating pairs of pollen scales. Seed cones 10-15 mm long, the spiny free tips of the bracts 4-6 mm long. Seed about 5 mm long, the large wing about twice as long and wide as the body (or more).

Northwestern portion of both North Island and South Island in New Zealand. Local canopy emergent in lowland and montane mixed forest, often with Agathis australis; 0-600 m.


Conservation Status

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened

(The area of occupancy is estimated to be 1,250 km2 which is within the threshold for vulnerable.  There has been an unquantified historical decline due to exploitation for timber and forest conversion for agriculture. This decline has ceased and many formerly logged-out forest parcels are now regenerating. However, this species requires large forested areas for its life cycle and persistence in the forest structure and succession. It seems therefore appropriate to flag it as Near Threatened, until an increase of mature individuals is apparent. At that stage it would most likely be assessed as Least Concern)



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 CodeLIB10T1012

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