Herbs & Plants


Botanical Name:Manoao colensoi
Family: Podocarpaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales
Genus: Manoao
Species:M. colensoi

Synonyms: Dacrydium colensoi Hook., Lagarostrobos colensoi (Hook.) Quinn, Dacrydium westlandicum Hook.f., Lepidothamnus colensoi (Hook.) de Laub.

Common Name: Manoao (M?ori), Silver pine, Westland pine, or White silver pine, Kirk’s pine

Habitat:Manoao can be found in the North Island from Te Paki southwards to Mt Ruapehu. However it is common only in the central North Island. It is also found in the western South Island.

Lowland to montane. Typically associated with older, poorly drained surfaces with leached infertile soils, and in acid swamps and peats, notably the pakihi lands of western South Island.

Manoao is a evergreen trees up to 20 m tall and 1 m diameter, with uniformly erect stems, branches, and branchlets, and strong sucker shoots from horizontal underground stems. Bark on mature trees forming thick irregular scales and vertical scale complexes, shedding slowly, leaving behind distinct hammer marks and wave patterns; outer surface of scales silvery-grey to grey-brown, undersurface crimson, glistening with fresh resin, hard, with silvery-grey, weathered, often scalloped margins; shed bark forming a small raised mound of litter filled with fine roots at base of tree. Roots of mature trees oblique, peg-like, deeply descending; mycorrhizal nodules simple or in extensive branched complexes, epidermal hairs absent. Roots and underground stems of shrubs and sucker shoots forming dense red-brown entanglements; aerenchyma universally present in roots and underground stems under anaerobic conditions. Cotyledons c.12.0 × 2.0 mm, submembranous, spreading horizontally, epistomatic. Primary axis of seedlings and juveniles erect. Leaves polymorphic; on adult branchlets c.3.0 × 1.5 mm, rhomboid, scale-like, keeled, closely imbricate and whipcord-like, decurrent at base, spirally arranged, amphistomatic; Florin ring distinct though sunken; marginal frill distinct, continuous; older leaves very persistent, brown, semi-woody. Leaves on seedlings at first 5.0-10.0 mm long, subulate, bristle-like, spreading, decurrent at base, spirally arranged, amphistomatic; successive leaves initially longer, becoming progressively shorter, bilaterally flattened, falcate to triangular, graded in size, and secondarily 3-ranked and spiralled; ultimately scale-like, keeled, imbricate. Male cones solitary or rarely paired, terminal on foliage branchlets, sessile, with up to 12 sporophylls each with 2 sporangia; pollen with a thin-walled, finely tuberculate cappa and 2 prominent sacci. Female cones solitary, terminal on foliage branchlets, erect by curvature of cone axis, consisting of 2-6 spoon-shaped ± spreading fertile bracts separated by short internodes, sometimes with a sterile cap; ovules borne in a median position on adaxial surface of fertile bract, initially obliquely inclined towards cone axis and partially inverted, becoming erect at maturity; bracts in distal region of cone sterile, reduced in size. Seeds l-5, erect, crowded if more than one; c.3.5 × 2.5 mm, narrowly oblong, rounded in cross-section, with a small rounded recurved micropyle; seed coat purple to black with a glaucous sheen, finely striated; epimatium swollen, fleshy, greenish-yellow, ± smooth-margined, forming a split keeled asymmetrical sheath around base of seed…..CLICK & SEE

With three distinct growth stages defined by the foliage, flowering and fruiting happens throughout the year. As far as male and female cones are concerned, it transpires in abundance on either separate trees or the same tree. With 12-15 scales, the male cones are 5 mm long, while the female cones have 6-7 scales with 1-2 lush scales at the tip. As it gets ripe, the bluish black seed is open to the elements in a fleshy green cup formed by enlargement of the fruitful scale.

Simply said, it has some resemblances to a young Kahikatea, but the yellow-green undergrowth shows a discrepancy from the bright green or blue-green of kahikatea. Exuding a slow but sure transition from narrow immature leaves to scale-like adult leaves, when the plant reaches semi-adult stage, the leaves appear to be smaller, flattened and sub falcate. Unlike other conifers, young silver pine can crop up as suckers from the roots of old trees. Coming to the adult tree, its leaves are 1-2.5 mm. long, thick, coriaceous, keeled and scale-like, with ultimate branchlets c. 1.5 mm in diameter. The silver pine tree during its younger stages will feature a cone-shaped tree, but later develops a tall, fairly spreading crown.


As aforesaid, they are a good source of timber and its yellow-white wood is believed to be used by European settlers for railway sleepers, telegraph poles and fence posts. Moreover, they are a good source of manool and manoyl oxide, two chemicals used in perfumes.

Easily grown from seed. Can also be grown from hardwood cuttings. A slow growing, attractive small tree, which is tolerant of a wide range of growing conditions.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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