T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Lepidothamnus intermedius (Yellow Silver Pine)

Kingdom:   Plantae
Division:    Pinophyta
Class:        Pinopsida
Order:       Pinales
Family:      Podocarpaceae
Genus:      Lepidothamnus
Species:     L. intermedius
Binomial name: Lepidothamnus intermedius
Synonym: Dacrydium intermedium
Common name: Yellow Silver Pine, Mountain pine

Lepidothamnus intermedius is a very slow growing species of conifer in the Podocarpaceae family. It is found only in New Zealand and is widely distributed in lowland, montane and sub-alpine forests, often in bog forests, southwards from latitude 35°s (Waipoua Forest and the Coromandel Peninsula) on the North Island and mainly on the western side of the South Islands and Stewart Island.
L. intermedius is a small tree up to 15m high with a broadly rounded crown with adult branchlets weeping like Dacrydium cupressinum (rimu). The trunk can have a diameter up to 60 cm and have spreading branches. Leaves on young plants narrow-linear, [>15 mm] long, acute and curved, becoming closer set and shorter on older plants, passing gradually into those of mature trees which are densely crowded, overlapping, blunt, keeled, leathery, [>3 mm] long.
Male strobili are abundantly produced, about [6 mm] long, with numerous anthers. Seed are oblong, blunt or with a minute point [3-5 mm] long.
The reddish-yellow wood is highly resinous and very inflammable, but very strong and durable. In the past, it was used for railway sleepers, boat-building, and for telegraph poles.



 

Branchlets a bumpy outline.
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Closeup of a branchlet.


The trunk.
 

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