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NZ Plants

Halocarpus biformis - pink pine, yellow pine

Podocarp family: Podocarpaceae

Halocarpus biformis is a small tree with a rounded shape. Juvenile plants have linear leaves which pass abruptly into adult overlapping scale-like leaves. The juvenile leaves are larger than those of H. bidwillii and the adult leaves also have a strong ridge (keel) on their lower (outer) surface.  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 Dacrydium biformis.

An endemic species found at higher elevations from the central North Island down to sea level in southern portions of the South Island.

Vegetative characteristics

Reproductive characteristics

Adult plant form: small tree up to 10m

Pollen and ovule cones: on separate plants

Adult leaf form: scale-like with distinct ridge (keel) on lower (outer) surface

Pollen cone: terminal on stems, up to 4 mm long

Adult leaf size: 1-2 mm

Ovule cone: 1-3 fertile bracts and 2-3 sterile bracts

Adult leaf arrangement: spiral, flattened (appressed) to the stem

Ovule position: on upper surface of each fertile cone scale

Juvenile leaf form: linear, stiff but not prickly

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

Juvenile leaf size: 10-20 mm long

Ovule pore (micropyle): directed downward

Juvenile leaf arrangement: spiral, spreading away from the stem

Mature seed cone: consists of 2-3 ribbed black seeds, each with a yellow fleshy basal outgrowth of the eipmatium


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