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NZ Plants

Dacrydium cupressinum - rimu, red pine

Podocarp family: Podocarpaceae

Dacrydium cupressinum is a large forest tree with close set and pointed scale leaves. Branches on adults have short, weeping branchlets while those on juveniles have longer and more strongly weeping branches. The ovule cone consists of a single fertile scale and a single ovule protected by a cluster of sterile bracts below. The young ovule is surrounded by an integument which in turn is covered by an epimatium (derived from the seed scale). The developing seed outgrows the epimatium so that at maturity, it projects beyond a reddish eipmatium cup. The sterile bracts below become fleshy and bright orange to red. 

An endemic species found throughout New Zealand.  

A small genus with one species in New Zealand and 15-20 species distributed around Southeast Asia and southern China.

Vegetative characteristics

Reproductive characteristics

Adult plant form: tree 30- 50 m with short weeping branches

Pollen and ovule cones: on separate trees

Adult leaf form: linear, awl-shaped (concave inner surface) slightly angled away from the stem

Pollen cone: 5-10 mm long with 30-40 scales

Adult leaf size: 2-3 mm long

Ovule cone: 60-120 mm long with several bracts, one bearing a fertile cone scale with a single ovule

Adult leaf arrangement: overlapping, spiral, flattened  to the  stem for part of their length

Ovule cone position: terminal, on upward bending stem tip

Juvenile plant form: long, strongly weeping branches

Ovule covering: an inner covering (integument);  an outer covering (epimatium) sheathes only the base of the ovule

Juvenile leaf form: linear, awl-shaped, sharply angled away from the stem

Ovule pore (micropyle): inclined at pollination, becoming upright as seed matures

Juvenile leaf size: 4-7 x 0.5-1 mm

Mature seed cone: fleshy, up to 7mm long; one seed

Juvenile leaf arrangement: spiral, spreading

Stem below seed (receptacle): fleshy, derived from basal bracts; red