Phyllocladus trichomanoides


Phyllocladus: Leaf branch, referring to the leaf-like stems
trichomanoides: fern-like

Common Name(s)

Tanekaha, celery pine

Current Conservation Status

2012 - Not Threatened

Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2012
The conservation status of all known New Zealand vascular plant taxa at the rank of species and below were reassessed in 2012 using the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS). This report includes a statistical summary and brief notes on changes since 2009 and replaces all previous NZTCS lists for vascular plants. Authors: Peter J. de Lange, Jeremy R. Rolfe, Paul D. Champion, Shannel P. Courtney, Peter B. Heenan, John W. Barkla, Ewen K. Cameron, David A. Norton and Rodney A. Hitchmough. File size: 792KB

Previous Conservation Status

2009 - Not Threatened
2004 - Not Threatened


Phyllocladus trichomanoides D.Don



Flora Category

Vascular - Native

NVS Species Code


The National Vegetation Survey (NVS) Databank is a physical archive and electronic databank containing records of over 94,000 vegetation survey plots - including data from over 19,000 permanent plots. NVS maintains a standard set of species code abbreviations that correspond to standard scientific plant names from the Ngä Tipu o Aotearoa - New Zealand Plants database.

Structural Class

Gymnosperm Trees & Shrubs


Phyllocladus trichomanoides D.Don var. trichomanoides, Phyllocladus rhomboidalis A.Rich.


Endemic. New Zealand: North and South Islands. In the North Island widespread from Te Paki to about the northern Manawatu - after which it is scarce. In the South Island confined to the Marlborough Sounds, northern Richmond Range and North-West Nelson from Puponga south to about Kahurangi Light and across to Abel Tasman National Park.


Found from sea level to c.1000 m a.s.l. Tanekaha is a common tree in northern New Zealandwhere it often found growing in association with kauri (Agathis australis) on ridge lines. Tanekaha is also common in secondary regrowth forest overlying poorly draining and/or infertile soils. It can be very common in reverting fire-induced gumland scrub. In the Central North Island tanekaha-dominated forest is locally common overlying ignimbrite rock and this forest type is very much a feature of the northern Taupo - King Country - Atiamuri area where extensive tanekaha-dominated forests are present overlying such high aspect ratio ignimbrites as the Whakamaru Ignimbrite. Further south Tanekaha is rarely such a major component of the forest canopy.


Monoecious tree up to 25 m, trunk up to 1 m diameter; phylloclades alternate, pinnately arranged on whorled rhachides up to 300 mm long. Leaves of juveniles up to 20 mm long, narrow-linear, deciduous; of adults much smaller. Phylloclades 10-15 per rhachis, irregularly and broadly rhomboid, flabellately lobed, cuneate at base; lobes obtuse to truncate, margins minutely crenulate; leaf-denticles small, subulate, 1.5-3.0 mm long, up to 1.5 mm wide. Male strobili terminal in clusters of 5-10, pedicels 3-10 mm long; staminal portion c.10 mm long, apiculus small, triquetrous; carpidia rather thick, marginal on reduced final phylloclades up to 30 mm long, in clusters of 6-8; seeds nutlike, exserted beyond white, fleshy, irregularly crenulate cupule, c.3 mm long.

Similar Taxa

Tanekaha is distinguished from mountain toatoa (Phyllocladus alpinus) by the phylloclades which are pinnately arranged on rhachis and from toatoa (P. toatoa) by the seeds which arranged singly on the margins of phylloclades


September - December

Flower Colours

No Flowers


January - April

Propagation Technique

Easily grown from fresh seed. Seedlings transplant well and this species is sometimes common in cultivation. It is often grown as a specimen tree in parks and does well in urban areas on street side verges. Once established tanekaha is able to tolerate full light and considerable drought but young plants do better planted in a less exposed site or at least provided with plenty of water during their early stages of establishment.


Not Threatened

Chromosome No.

2n = 18

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Taxonomic Notes

A distinct as yet undescribed species allied to Phyllocladus trichomanoides is known from the 120ha exsposure of ultramafic rock at North Cape, Te Paki. This unnamed species differs from P. trichomanoides by its shorter stature and spreading growth habit, longer phyllodes, larger fruits and longer fruiting season. It still awaits formal description. In the past this form had been referred to the hybrid P. toatoa x P. trichomanoides. However Phyllocladus toatoa is not known from Te Paki and the North Cape tree comes true from seed.

Fact Sheet Citation

Please cite as:  de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of Access): Phyllocladus trichomanoides Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. http://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora_details.aspx?ID=1117  (Date website was queried)




Fact sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange 1 August 2004. Description adapted from Allan (1961).

References and further reading

Allan, H.H. 1961: Flora of New Zealand. Vol. I. Government Printer, Wellington.

This page last updated on 16 Sep 2018