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Tanekaha

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Tanekaha

Tanekaha
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales
Family: Podocarpaceae
Genus: Phyllocladus
Species: P. trichomanoides
Binomial name
Phyllocladus trichomanoides

Phyllocladus trichomanoides (Tanekaha) is a coniferous tree native to New Zealand.

Tanekaha is a medium-sized forest tree growing up to 20 m in height and 1 m trunk diameter. The main structural shoots are green for 2–3 years, then turn brown as the bark thickens. The leaves are sparse, tiny, scale-like, 2–3 mm long, and only green (photosynthetic) for a short time, soon turning brown.

Most photosynthesis is performed by highly modified, leaf-like short shoots called phylloclades; these are arranged alternately, 10-15 on a shoot, the individual phylloclades rhombic, 1.5-2.5 cm long. The seed cones are berry-like, with a fleshy white aril surrounding but not fully enclosing the single seed.

Economic uses

Like the Kauri, Tanekaha shed their lower branches, producing smooth straight trunks and knot-free timber which is sought after for its strength.

The bark is rich in tannin, from which Māori extracted a red dye.

References

  • Conifer Specialist Group (1998). Phyllocladus trichomanoides. 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 12 May 2006.
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