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NZ Plants

Halocarpus bidwilli - bog pine, mountain pine

Podocarp family: Podocarpaceae

Halocarpus bidwilli is a slow growing many-branched shrub. Juvenile plants have needle-like leaves which pass abruptly into overlapping deep green scale-like leaves which lack a prominent ridge (keel). Small, fleshy ovule cones are formed in which the ovule is inverted and covered with both an inner integument and an outer epimatium (derived from the seed scale). After fertilisation an outgrowth of the epimatium expands to form a fleshy aril below the seed. Formerly known as Dacrydium bidwillii.

An endemic genus with three species. H. Bidwillii is found in moist to dry stony areas from the central North Island Volcanic Plateau to the South Island. Named after the English botanist and explorer, John Carne Bidwill (1815-1853), a collector of plants in New Zealand and Australia.

Vegetative characteristics

Reproductive characteristics

Adult plant form: shrub up to 3.5 m

Pollen and ovule cones: on separate plants

Adult leaf form: scale-like with no ridge (keel) on lower (outer) surface

Pollen cone: terminal on stems, 3-5 mm long

Adult leaf size: 1-2 mm

Ovule cone: 3-5 mm long, of 1-2 fertile scales and 1-2 sterile bracts

Adult leaf arrangement: singly along stem, flattened (appressed) to stem and closely overlapping

Ovule position: on upper surface of fertile scale

Juvenile leaf form: linear, stiff but not prickly

Ovule coverings: an inner covering (integument); a black outer covering (epimatium)

Juvenile leaf size: 5-10 mm

Ovule pore (micropyle): directed downward

Juvenile leaf arrangement: spiral, spreading away from stem

Mature seed cone: consists of 1-2 ribbed black seeds, each with a white fleshy basal outgrowth of the epimatium


Stem(receptacle) below seed: not fleshy with 1-2 bracts below the seed resembling the scale leaves