Dacrydium cupressinum / Rimu

Dacrydium cupressinum, as described in 1786 by Solander exJohann Georg Adam Forster, in Florulae Insularum Australium Prodromus, is commonly known as Rimu or historically, red pine.

Description. Rimu is a slow-growing evergreen coniferous tree in the Podocarpaceae family, eventually attaining a height of up to 150 feet (50 m) tall, although most surviving large trees are 60 to 100 feet (20 - 35 m) tall. This conifer is dioecious, with male and female cones found on separate trees.

  • The leaves are spirally arranged, awl-shaped, up to 0.3 inch (7 mm) long on juvenile plants; and 0.1 inch (2 - 3 mm) long on mature trees. ;
  • The mature seed cones comprise a swollen red fleshy scale 1-third of an inch (6 -10 mm) long bearing one (rarely two) apical
  • seeds, which require 15 months to mature after pollination.

Distribution. This species Rimu is native throughout New Zealand, on the North Island, South Island and Stewart Island/Rakiura. Although the largest concentration of trees is now found on the west coast of the South Island, the biggest trees tend to be in mixed podocarp forest near Taupo (the Pureora, Waihaha, and Whirinaki Forests).

Of all the New Zealand conifers, this is probably the one you are most likely to find growing as an ornamental tree outside of New Zealand.

Attribution from: Widipedia, the Free Encyclopedia

Dacrydium cupressinum — at Strybing Arboretum in San Francisco, CA.
Photo by Talon Buchholz
Dacrydium cupressinum — a closeup of foliage.
Photo by activeadventures.com/newzealand
ACS members Sara Malone, Lenny Oddo and Martha Church with Dacrydium cuppressinum at Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden, California, an ACS Reference Garden.
Photo by Jan LeCocq
Dacrydium cupressinum, a young specimen in a private garden in Petaluma, California (USDA Zone 9, Mediterranean climate).
Photo by Sara Malone