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Pherosphaera hookeriana

Pherosphaera hookeriana
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Product Information

Scientific name: Pherosphaera hookerianaW.Archer bis  1850

Synonyms:Dacrydium hookerianum (W.Archer bis) Eichler, Microstrobos niphophilus J.Garden & L.A.S.Johnson, Pherosphaera niphophila (J.Garden & L.A.S.Johnson) Florin     

Common names: Mount Mawson pine, Tasmanian dwarf pine, Drooping pine



Dense shrub to 2.5 m tall and spreading to 5 m, without a main trunk. Bark reddish brown, weathering gray. Crown broadly dome-shaped from the ground, with many, densely branched upright, slender branches to about 8 cm in diameter bearing numerous short, spirally attached stiff branchlets densely clothed with foliage and forming clumps at the periphery of the bush. Leaves scalelike, tight to the twig, dark green or with a coppery flush, prominently keeled, (0.5-)1-1.5 mm long (to 2.5 mm on main shoots), lasting 3-5 years or more. Pollen cones brown with a red or purple blush, held upright, spherical to egg-shaped, 1.5-2 mm long, about 1.5 mm in diameter, with about 8-12 pollen scales. Seed cones remaining turned down after pollination or turning upright with maturity, dull brownish red, spherical to egg-shaped, 2-4 mm long, 2-3 mm thick, with (two or) three to five (to eight) fertile scales. Seeds shiny dark brown, 1-1.5 mm long.

Mountains of central, southern, and western Tasmania, Australia. Scattered to gregarious in wet soils of subalpine habitats (hence the scientific name, Greek for “snow lowing”) of varying shrub density; 1,000-1,350(-1,500) m.


Conservation Status

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened

(Despite a limited range (extent of occurrence and area of occupancy both fall within the thresholds for Endangered) there is no evidence of overall decline. A substantial part of the global population is in protected areas and this species occupies a wet habitat protecting it from fires in all but the very driest (El Niño) spells. Recent research indicates slow recovery from fires and if these fires increase due to arson and perhaps climate change, the species could move into a threatened category)



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 CodePHERNOXL92

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