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Podocarps and Araucarians of New Zealand
Native and Introduced Species

Norfolk Pine: Araucaria heterophylla.

      In true botany-geek fashion, one of the greatest thrills of New Zealand was encountering the pine-like Podocarp and Araucarian families. Pines are not native to the land down under. Instead, New Zealand and the South Pacific are home to these ancient families that are cousins to the pines -- members of the Pine Order, along with the Pine family and the Cedar/Cypress and Yew families. The Podocarps and Araucarians are not covered in Botany in a Day, but it is easy to sense the connection between these families and the familiar pines and cedars back home.

Botany in a Day: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification       For example the Norfolk pine (Araucaria hetrophylla) shown here, introduced from an island of the same name a few hundred miles north of New Zealand, is like an alien version of a pine tree. Actually, the tree's wide branching structure and excessively symmetrical appearance looks a great deal like cell phone towers back home that are poorly camouflaged with tree-like branches. The cell phone towers draw attention to themselves for their attempt at camouflage, and Norfolk pines seem equally fake, at least to this tourist's eyes. Unfortunately, I never got a satisfactory picture of a whole tree!

      Norfolk pines are remnants of an ancient family, Araucariaceae, which reached peak diversity along with the dinosaurs back in the Cretaceous and Jurassic periods, and has been slowly out-competed by other plant families ever since. While Norfolk pines are obviously not true pines, it is easy to see that the families could be related. And it is always easier to learn something new if you can connect it with something already known, so it isn't difficult to expand the concept of the Pine family to include families closely related to the Pine family. The Araucarian family also includes the famously tall native kauri tree (Agathis australis), which has narrow, almost needle-like leaves and cone-like fruits. Scroll down the page for more pictures of Araucarians and Podocarps.

      Please send me an e-mail to report mistakes or to inquire about purchasing high resolution photos of these plants.

Botanizing New Zealand
1. Intro and Mangroves | 2. Introduced Weeds | 3. Cultivated Flowers
4. Introduced Trees & Shrubs | 5. Podocarps & Araucarians | 6. Native Flowers, Shrubs, & Trees

Bunya Pine: Araucaria bidwillii.

Bunya Pine: Araucaria bidwillii. Bunya pine is a member of the Araucarian Family native to northeast Australia.

Bunya Pine: Araucaria bidwillii.

Bunya Pine: Araucaria bidwillii.

Hoop Pine: Araucaria cunninghamii.

Hoop Pine: Araucaria cunninghamii. Hoop pine is a member of the Araucarian Family native to Australia and New Guinea.

Kauri Tree: Agathis australis.

Kauri Tree: Agathis australis. The kauri tree is a member of the Araucarian Family native to New Zealand.

Totara: Podocarpus totara.

Totara: Podocarpus totara. Totara is a member of the Podocarp Family native to New Zealand.

Tall Mallow: Malva sylvestris.

Totara: Podocarpus totara. The "cone" has fleshy, berry-like scales and a seed at the tip.

Rimu: Dacrydium cupressinum.

Rimu: Dacrydium cupressinum. Rimu is a member of the Podocarp Family native to New Zealand.

Botany in a Day: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification

Botanizing New Zealand
1. Intro and Mangroves | 2. Introduced Weeds | 3. Cultivated Flowers
4. Introduced Trees & Shrubs | 5. Podocarps & Araucarians | 6. Native Flowers, Shrubs, & Trees


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Books
authored by
Thomas J. Elpel
Roadmap to Reality: Consciousness, Worldviews, andthe Blossoming of Human Spirit
Roadmap
to Reality
Living Homes: Stone Masonry, Log, and Strawbale Construction
Living
Homes
Participating in Nature: Wilderness Survival and Primitive Living Skills.
Participating
in Nature
Foraging the Mountain West: Gourmet Edible Plants, Mushrooms, and Meat.
Foraging the
Mountain West
Botany in a Day: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification
Botany
in a Day
Shanleya's Quest: A Botany Adventure for Kids
Shanleya's
Quest

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