Prumnopitys ladei (Podocarpaceae)


Few would think of Australia as a land of conifers, because of the aridity of the landscape. But conifers like Prumnopitys ladei is a testimony to the importance of Australian rainforest as a living museum of conifers.

P. ladei is a Podocarp (a conifer belonging to the Podocarpaceae family. This family forms part of what some conifer scientists would like to call the southern conifers – conifers which are predominantly found in the wet forests of the Southern Hemisphere. Fossil records suggest that Podocarps were quite prolific during the Cenozoic period, but now their species diversity is greatly reduced and most lving members are confined to the Australasian region. This relictual species is known by the common names of Brown Pine, Mount Spurgeon Black Kauri Pine or Mount Spurgeon Black Pine.

The distribution of P. ladei is rather restricted, with plants growing only on the Mount Spurgeon and Mount Lewis at elevations of 1000-1200 m. Fortunately, the species is quite hardy and has been relatively popular in cultivation. A healthy specimen grows in Gondwana gardens of the Cairns Botanical Gardens at lowland altitudes.

The species is instantly distinguishable from other Podocarp (genus Podocarpus, Sundacarpus and Agathis) by the small leaves.


About David Tng

I am David Tng, a hedonistic botanizer who pursues plants with a fervour. I chase the opportunity to delve into various aspects of the study of plants. I have spent untold hours staring at mosses and allied plants, taking picture of pollen, culturing orchids in clean cabinets, counting tree rings, monitoring plant flowering times, etc. I am currently engrossed in the study of plant ecology (a grand excuse to see 'anything I can). Sometimes I think of myself as a shadow taxonomist, a sentimental ecologist, and a spiritual environmentalist - but at the very root of it all, a "plant whisperer"!
This entry was posted in Endemics, Habitat - Rain forest, Iconic Plants, Lifeform - Trees & Shrubs, Podocarpaceae (Podocarp family) and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Prumnopitys ladei (Podocarpaceae)

  1. Leon Perrie says:

    Neat. Can see the resemblance to the New Zealand Prumnopitys ferruginea.

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