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NZ Plants

Manoao colensoi - silver pine

Podocarp family: Podocarpaceae

Manoao colensoi is a small to medium-sized tree with a narrow crown of yellow-green foliage and branches that weep at their ends.  Juvenile plants have limp needle-like leaves which gradually change into overlapping yellowish green scale-like leave with a prominent ridge (keel) on the lower (outer) surface. Branchlets often have a mixture of leaf forms. Small, fleshy ovule cones are formed. After fertilisation the seed cone scale forms a green fleshy cup (epimatium) around the ovule base. Formerly known as Dacrydium colensoi or Lagarostrobus colensoi.
An endemic genus with one species found in high rainfall areas on both the North and South Islands.
Named after the Cornish missionary William Colenso (1811-1899), explorer and botanist, printer and politician.

Vegetative characteristics

Reproductive characteristics

Adult plant form: tree up to 20 m

Pollen and ovule cones: on separate trees

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

Pollen cone: 3-5 mm long, up to 12 fertile scales

Adult leaf size: 1-2.5 mm long

Ovule cone: 2-5 fertile spoon-shaped cone scales

Adult leaf arrangement: singly on stem, flattened (appressed) to stem

Ovule position: single ovule on upper face of each cone scale

Juvenile leaf form: linear, limp

Ovule coverings: an inner covering (integument); an outer covering (epimatium) restricted to basal portions of the ovule

Juvenile leaf size: 6-12 mm

Ovule pore (micropyle): directed downward at pollination, becoming more upright at maturity

Juvenile leaf arrangement: spiral, spreading

Mature seed cone: 1-3 black or purplish seeds, each with a fleshy green epimatium cupping the base


Stem(receptacle) below seed: sterile scales and bracts remain green, not fleshy