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.

Phyllocladus trichomanoides D.Don

Half-hardy, evergreen pyramidal tree with smooth bark, whorled branches, flattened stems (phylloclades), resembling the leaves of celery, usually toothed or lobed, to 30cm long, each with up to 15 diamond-shaped segments, and spherical, blue or black female cones, to 2cm long, and catkin-like, purple male cones, in spring.  To 12m.  [RHSE, Hortus, Hilliers’].

Horticultural & Botanical History

Introduced to Britain in 1840.  [JD].  ‘The tanekaha, as it is usually called by Maoris and Europeans alike, is a familiar tree to the residents of North New Zealand, and from its singularly graceful shape and attractive appearance should be more connnonly seen in cultivation than is the case at the present time.  Its first discovery has been attributed to Banks and Solander, but, I believe, erroneously, for it is neither mentioned in Solander’s manuscript Flora, nor are specimens contained in the set of Banksian plants presented to the Dominion by the Trustees of the British Museum.  It was, however, collected by Allan Cunningham in 1826, by D’Urville in 1827, and by Dr. G. Bennett in 1829.  From specimens and information supplied by the latter a notice of the plant was contributed by D. Don to the second edition of Lambert’s “Pinetum” (Appendix), but the first diagnosis under its present name was that given by Allan Cunningham in his “Precursor,” published in 1838.  In 1843 it was excellently figured by Sir W. J. Hooker in the “Icones Plantarum ” (tt. 549-551).

The geographical range of P. trichomanoides is limited to the North Island and the extreme north of the South Island.  From the North Cape southwards to the Upper Waikato it is tolerably frequent in all forest districts.  Further south it is often rare and local, although it extends to the East Cape and Hawke’s Bay on the eastern side of the Island, and to Taranaki and the Tararua Mountains on the western.  In the South Island I have gathered it in the Maitai Valley, near Nelson; Mr. Macmahon has sent me specimens collected in the Rai Valley ; and many years ago Mr. Kirk collected it in some locality near Picton.  On the western side of the Island it has been gathered at West Wanganui by Mr. R. J. Kingsley.  It has also been reported from the vicinity of Westport, but I have not seen specimens, and it is not mentioned in Mr. Townson’s catalogue of the Westport flora.’  [Illustrations of the New Zealand Flora pl.190/1914].

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [C.49/1843].  Probably grown from material collected by John Bidwill in New Zealand.  Also listed among Shrubs and Trees in later catalogues as Phyllocladus Trichomanoides - Tanekaha [T.756/1843].  This is presumably an error.


Published Aug 09, 2009 - 04:19 PM | Last updated Jul 29, 2010 - 05:06 PM

The uncoloured drawing shows leaves and cones.  Illustrations of the New Zealand Flora pl.190, 1914.

Phyllocladus trichomanoides D.Don | Illustrations of the New Zealand Flora pl.190/1914 | BHL

Family Podocarpaceae
Region of origin

New Zealand

Common Name


Name in the Camden Park Record

Phyllocladus trichomanoides 

Confidence level high