Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Agathis australis (D.Don) Loudon

Half-hardy, evergreen conical tree when young, becoming spreading with a massive trunk, with lance-shaped, leathery leaves, to 8cm long, and woody female cones, to 7cm long, with smaller male cones.  To 40m.  [RHSE, Hortus, Hilliers'].

Horticultural & Botanical History

Introduced to Europe in 1823.  [JD].  ‘[The President] read an extract from a letter addressed by Captain Sir E. Home, Bart., R.N., to R. Brown, Esq., V.P.L.S., giving an account of the measurement of some of the largest of the New Zealand and Norfolk Island Pines.  With reference to the former Sir E. Home quotes from the Journal of Mr. Saddler, Master R.N., who was sent to New Zealand in 1833-4 in command of the Buffalo Store-ship to procure spars for the Navy.  The tree which he describes was in a forest near Wangaroa, some miles north of the Bay of Islands.  Mr. Saddler says, “On 16th (May 1834) I went to examine a Kauri tree [Dammara australis, Lamb.] which Mr. Betts the purveyor in his search through the forest had discovered a few days previous; it is situated about two miles from the river on the steep bank of a ravine.  It appeared perfectly sound and healthy, and measured forty-three feet nine inches in circumference, and sixty feet high without a branch.  Its head then spread out into forty-one principal branches, some of which were four feet through.  It is more than double the size of any tree I have before seen in this country.”  Sir E. Home adds that the largest tree of this species that he saw was only eighteen feet eight inches in circumference; but that in Norfolk Island he had measured the largest tree [of Araucaria excelsa, Sol.] known to be upon the island and had found it to be 187 feet high, the girth at four feet from the ground fifty-four feet, and at twenty feet from the ground fifty-one feet.  This tree is hollow for sixteen feet above the ground, but is in good health.’  [Proceedings of the Linnean society of London v. 1, p.321/1838-48].  It was described and illustrated with a wood-cut in Flore des Serres [FS misc. 916/1856].

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [C.36/1843], probably grown from material collected by John Bidwill.


Published Jul 28, 2009 - 05:32 PM | Last updated Oct 28, 2011 - 11:35 AM

Family Araurcariaceae
Region of origin

New Zealand

  • Dammara australis Lamb.
  • Salisburyodendron australis (Lamb.) A.V.Brobov & Melikyan


Common Name

Kauri pine, Cowdie pine

Name in the Camden Park Record

Dammara Australis - Kauri Pine 

Confidence level high