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Branch photograph

Branch (ANU Forestry 1999).

Foliage photograph

Foliage (ANU Forestry 1999).

photograph

Ovulate cone (ANBG [no date]).

photograph

Staminate cones (ANBG [no date]).

photograph

Plant in habitat (ANBG [no date]).

 

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Conservation status 2010: protocol 2.3, needs updating

Podocarpus lawrencei

Hooker 1845

Common names

Alpine plum pine, mountain plum pine (Harden 1990).

Taxonomic notes

Syn: P. alpinus R. Br. ex Hook. f. 1845; P. alpinus R. Br. ex Hook. f. var. lawrencei (Hook. f.) Hook. f.

Description

Shrubs, procumbent to erect, 0.5-1(-4) m tall, usually forming clumps to 4-5 m across. Profusely branched, with whip shoots at the growing tips that end in 1-2 mm diam. globose buds. Leaves crowded, sessile, decurrent, mostly linear-oblong, 4-16 × 2-5 mm, tapering to a slightly twisted base; dark green above, light green with two pale stomatal bands flanking a prominent midrib below. Pollen cones axillary and solitary, or in small clusters of 2-3 (-6) at ends of branchlets; cylindrical, 4-7 × 2-2.5 mm. Seed cones axillary, solitary, sessile or nearly so, receptacles at maturity 5-6 mm long, subglobose, succulent, dark red, each bearing a solitary seed at its distal end, 4.5-5 × 2.5-3 mm including the olive-green epimatium (Harden 1990, Farjon 2010).

Commonly occurs with Diselma archeri, Microcachrys tetragona, and Pherosphaera hookeriana.

Podocarpus - Shrubs, procumbent to erect, 0.5-1(-4) m tall, usually forming clumps to 4-5 m across. Profusely branched, with whip shoots at the growing tips that end in 1-2 mm diam. globose buds. Leaves crowded, sessile, decurrent, mostly linear-oblong, 4-16 × 2-5 mm, tapering to a slightly twisted base; dark green above, light green with two pale stomatal bands flanking a prominent midrib below. Pollen cones axillary and solitary, or in small clusters of 2-3 (-6) at ends of branchlets; cylindrical, 4-7 × 2-2.5 mm. Seed cones axillary, solitary, sessile or nearly so, receptacles at maturity 5-6 mm long, subglobose, succulent, dark red, each bearing a solitary seed at its distal end, 4.5-5 × 2.5-3 mm including the olive-green epimatium Pherosphaera - Erect shrubs to 2.5 m tall, densely branched. Bark brown weathering dark gray, rough, exfoliating in small scaly plates. Branches spreading, contorted, dividing repeatedly to form twigs 1-1.5 mm diameter that form dense, stiff tufts of foliage. Leaves yellow-green, scale-like, spirally arranged; in seedlings and young plants 2-2.5 × 1 mm, largely free, incurved; in older plants smaller (mostly 1 × 1 mm, larger on thicker twigs and in whip shoots), imbricate, closely appressed; stomata on inner surfaces. Pollen cones numerous, terminal, globose, 2 mm diameter, red-brown. Seeds c. 1 mm diameter. Seed cones terminal on down-curved twigs, globose, 3-4 mm diameter, composed of 5-8 spreading ovate concave scales with an acute apex; brown at maturity. Usually 1-4 mature seeds per cone, solitary and basal on interior side of a scale, 1.3 × 1 mm, brown

Distribution and Ecology

Australia: Tasmania, Victoria, and New South Wales, at elevations of 1100-2030 m, which corresponds to subalpine to alpine areas near the peaks of the highest mountains, where it mostly occupies rocky areas with acidic rock types. Near its lower elevation limit, it can also occur in wet sclerophyll forest with species of Eucalyptus, Acacia, and Telopea, and here is where the largest specimens (up to 4 m tall) can be found. More often, it is seen in subalpine and alpine dwarf scrub and alpine herbaceous grassland. In Tasmania it is often found with three other small, endemic conifers: Diselma archeri, Microcachrys tetragona, and Pherosphaera hookeriana (Farjon 2010). Based on data from 79 collection localities, its climate preferences include a mean annual temperature of 7.8°C, with an average minimum in the coldest month of -2.1°C, and a mean annual precipitation of 1438 mm (Biffin et al. 2011, Table S5); this and Podocarpus nivalis appear to be the most cold-adapted species in the family. Hardy to Zone 7 (cold hardiness limit between -17.7°C and -12.2°C) (Bannister and Neuner 2001).

Big tree

Oldest

Ages up to 460 years are cited without supporting evidence (ANBG [no date]).

Dendrochronology

Ethnobotany

Although it is potentially a good rock garden plant, and is sometimes so seen, it is fairly rare in cultivation, even in Australia (Farjon 2010).

Observations

Common in the mountains of western Tasmania, for instance in Cradle Mountain National Park and south from there along the Overland Track.

Remarks

The epithet lawrencei commemorates Robert William Lawrence (1807-1833). "I have been anxious so far as materials exist for that purpose to record in this Natural Order the names of those individuals who have done most for the Botany of this island. Since the days when Mr. Brown collected his extraordinary herbarium, and first brought to light a host of Tasmanian plants in the 'Prodromus Florae Novas Hollandiae,' there has been no more successful Botanist for the time than the late Mr. Lawrence, who commenced forming a herbarium of the whole island, a work which Mr. Gunn has almost concluded" (Hooker 1845).

Citations

ANU Forestry. 1999. http://online.anu.edu.au/Forestry/teaching/t6/podocarp/podocarp.html, accessed 1999.10.07, now defunct.

Hooker, Joseph D. 1845. On the Huon Pine, and on Microcachrys, a New Genus of Conifers from Tasmania; together with Remarks upon the Geographical Distribution of that Order in the Southern Hemisphere. London Journal of Botany 4:137-157. Available at the Biodiversity Heritage Library (accessed 2015.02.04).

See also

Gray (1956), p.168 under P. alpinus J.D. Hook.

de Laubenfels (1985), p.256.

Thompson, J. 1961. Contr. New South Wales Natl Herb. Fl. Ser. 1-18:42-44 (43).

Last Modified 2015-02-05