Libocedrus

Family: Cupressaceae

This is a genus of six species of evergreen conifers from New Zealand, New Caledonia and the south-western part of South America. The young leaves are short and needle-like, while mature leaves are scale-like. The male and female cones are on the same tree. Character­istic of this genus is the feather-like shape of the flattened branchlet sprays.

Species

L. bidwillii, kaikawaka, sometimes reaches 20 m (65 ft) or more in its mountainous habitat in New Zealand, while cultivated it is often only a rounded, bushy shrub or small, column-shaped tree. The branchlets are less flattened than in other species.

L. plumosa, kawaka, is found in sheltered, less elevated forests of New Zealand, where it reaches 30 m (100 ft). Cultivated, it is generally narrowly upright, growing slowly to around 10 m (33 ft), with beautiful, long, fern-like branchlet sprays in glossy, olive green. Grown commercially for its deep red, attractively grained timber, in the garden it is an excellent specimen or container plant.

Cultivation

These trees like cool, humid condi­tions and a reasonably deep, fertile, well-drained soil. Young trees prefer semi-shade and some shelter. Propagate from seed or cuttings which strike fairly readily.

Climate

Zone 8 for the species listed.

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Climate zone map
Liatris      Licuala