Found both North and South Island in damp swampy areas.
Dacrycarpus dacrydioides, also common known as the Kahikatea is coniferous tree endemic to New Zealand. Belonging to the ancient Podocarp family, the Kahikatea is said to be one of the oldest members that has been around for 160 million years. The columnar growth of the Kahikatea tree and its impressive mature height of around 55 metres distinguish itself amongst lowland forest throughout New Zealand. The tree is most commonly found growing in poorly drained alluvial soils. For ancient Maori the Kahikatea had many uses such as building their wakas. Its foliage is small green scale-like leaves accompanied by small flowers appearing in October through to January.
In cultivation the tree normally reaches a height 9m after 20 years. The juvenile Kahikatea has brown foliage which turns to green as the tree matures. The bright red fruit of the tree occurs in February through to April and provides food for native birds. The Dacrycarpus dacrydioides can make an excellent specimen tree in a small garden and can thrive in swampy soils.
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