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Prumnopitys taxifolia

Prumnopitys taxifolia
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Product Information

Scientific name: Prumnopitys taxifolia (Solander ex D.Don) de Laubenfels  1978

Synonyms:Dacrydium mai A.Cunn., Dacrydium taxifolium Sol. ex D.Don, Nageia spicata (R.Br. ex Mirb.) F.Muell., Podocarpus spicatus R.Br., Stachycarpus spicatus (R.Br.) Tiegh.

Common names: Black pine, Matai (Maori)



Tree to 25 m tall, with a short or extended, cylindrical or somewhat fluted trunk to 1.3(-2) m in diameter. Bark thin, smooth, bright red when fresh, weathering dark brown to black, peeling continuously in thick flakes of varying size to produce intricate, colorful mottling. Crown round, open, and irregular when young, becoming denser and dome-shaped to cylindrical with maturity, with many slender to thick, spreading to gently rising branches irregularly bearing elongate branchlets sparsely to densely clothed with foliage. Leaves lasting 2-3 years, extending out to the sides of the twigs in two even or, more frequently, ragged rows or nearly radiating all around on some twigs, angled slightly forward or standing out at nearly right angles, mostly straight, flat or bowed up along their length, 10-15(-20) mm long (5-10 mm in juveniles), 1-2 mm wide. Pollen cones1-2 cm long, 2.5-4 mm thick, in groups of (10-)20-30(-40) each attached singly along an axillary reproductive shoot 3-5 cm long with scalelike to leafy bracts 2-6 mm long. Seed cone axis 2.5-5 cm long, axillary, scaly at the base and with 3-12 scalelike fertile bracts above, from which 1-6(-12) seeds mature. The combined seed coat and epimatium deep purplish black with a thin waxy film at maturity, nearly spherical, 6-10 mm in diameter, with a short, broadly conical beak about 1 mm long, often depressed in a dimple.

Found throughout New Zealand, most abundantly in the central part of North Island and the western side of South Island. Scattered or forming groves in the canopy of wet and dense or more open, drier mixed lowland forests of flats and hills; 0-550 m.


Conservation Status

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern

(The population of Prumnopitys taxifolia, after an historic low reached perhaps around 1970, is now increasing and no significant threats have been identified. Therefore it is 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 CodePRUFDTGG54
Weight0.01 kg

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