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NZ Plants


Agathis australis - kauri

Family: Araucariaceae

Agathis australis is easily recognized by its massive unbranched columnar trunk with stout branches at the top. Younger trees have whorled branches with thick and leathery, linear-oblong leaves. Seed cones are woody and disintegrate on the tree to release winged seeds.

An endemic species found as isolated groves in the northern half of the North Island.

Agathis is a small genus of about 20 species, all except for one in Borneo, restricted to the Southern Hemisphere.

Vegetative characteristics

Reproductive characteristics

Adult plant form: tree up to 60 m tall with widely spreading branches

Pollen and ovule cones: on the same tree

Adult leaf form: broadly lance shaped or paddle-shaped with parallel veins

Pollen cone: 30-50 mm long, 10-14 scales, each with 3-5 sporangia

Adult leaf size: 20-35 x 8-20 mm

Ovule cone: spherical, 50-80 mm diam., 100-500 scales

Adult leaf arrangement: singly on the stem

Ovule position: one ovule on the upper surface of each cone scale

Juvenile plant form: narrow, conical tree

Ovule covering: a single covering (integument)

Juvenile leaf form: lance-shaped

Ovule pore: inverted (facing cone axis)

Juvenile leaf size: 50-100 x 5-12 mm

Mature seed cone: spherical and woody, 50-170 mm diam. releasing numerous winged seeds

Juvenile leaf arrangement: spiral but often appearing as if in two rows on flattened shoots