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The text below is that of Bean (1981) who discussed this taxon under the name Dacrydium laxifolium. We have created this hybrid article – Bean’s text under the correct modern name, with appropriate synonymy – whilst we await sponsorship to enable a full revision of this genus to be written. We are re-organising the Podocarpaceae text in this way to enable a new revision of Podocarpus to commence in early 2022.
TC, February 2022.
A prostrate shrub with long, slender branches, sometimes scrambling up into its taller neighbours. Leaves of adult plants minute, appressed, keeled (but narrowly awl-shaped or needle-like in the juvenile stage). Male and female inflorescences often borne on the same plant. Seed solitary, terminal, erect, 1⁄8 in. or slightly more long, circular in cross-section, with a hooked process at the tip.
Native of New Zealand at high altitudes. According to L. J. Metcalf there are two forms in the wild: one has glaucous foliage becoming green or brownish in winter; the other is green in summer, plum-coloured in winter (Cult. N.Z. Tr. & Shr., pp. 92–3). It is cultivated in Britain in a few collections and is said to be hardy but not drought-resistant.
This species is removed by C. J. Quinn (op. cit. supra) into the genus Lepidothamnus, which has seeds as described above and so differing from Dacrydium proper, in which the seeds are flattened, held obliquely and terminated by a short, blunt tip. A further difference is that in L. laxifolium and its allies the leaves lack a resin duct.