Manoao colensoi


Manoao: Derived from the Maori name for the only species in this genus.
colensoi: Named after William Colenso (7 November 1811 - 10 February 1899) who was a Cornish Christian missionary to New Zealand, and also a printer, botanist, explorer and politician.

Common Name(s)

Silver Pine, Manoao

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


Manoao colensoi (Hook.) Molloy



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


Dacrydium colensoi Hook., Lagarostrobos colensoi (Hook.) Quinn, Dacrydium westlandicum Hook.f.


Endemic. New Zealand: North and South Islands southwards from Te Paki. Uncommon in the northern North Island (being found mainly around the mountains of the Central Volcanic Plateau), mainly westerly in the South Island


Lowland to montane. Typically associated with older, poorly drained surfaces with leached infertile soils, and in acid swamps and peats, notably the pakihi lands of western South Island.


Gynodioecious, evergreen trees up to 20 m tall and 1 m diameter, with uniformly erect stems, branches, and branchlets, and strong sucker shoots from horizontal underground stems. Bark on mature trees forming thick irregular scales and vertical scale complexes, shedding slowly, leaving behind distinct hammer marks and wave patterns; outer surface of scales silvery-grey to grey-brown, undersurface crimson, glistening with fresh resin, hard, with silvery-grey, weathered, often scalloped margins; shed bark forming a small raised mound of litter filled with fine roots at base of tree. Roots of mature trees oblique, peg-like, deeply descending; mycorrhizal nodules simple or in extensive branched complexes, epidermal hairs absent. Roots and underground stems of shrubs and sucker shoots forming dense red-brown entanglements; aerenchyma universally present in roots and underground stems under anaerobic conditions. Cotyledons c.12.0 × 2.0 mm, submembranous, spreading horizontally, epistomatic. Primary axis of seedlings and juveniles erect. Leaves polymorphic; on adult branchlets c.3.0 × 1.5 mm, rhomboid, scale-like, keeled, closely imbricate and whipcord-like, decurrent at base, spirally arranged, amphistomatic; Florin ring distinct though sunken; marginal frill distinct, continuous; older leaves very persistent, brown, semi-woody. Leaves on seedlings at first 5.0-10.0 mm long, subulate, bristle-like, spreading, decurrent at base, spirally arranged, amphistomatic; successive leaves initially longer, becoming progressively shorter, bilaterally flattened, falcate to triangular, graded in size, and secondarily 3-ranked and spiralled; ultimately scale-like, keeled, imbricate. Male cones solitary or rarely paired, terminal on foliage branchlets, sessile, with up to 12 sporophylls each with 2 sporangia; pollen with a thin-walled, finely tuberculate cappa and 2 prominent sacci. Female cones solitary, terminal on foliage branchlets, erect by curvature of cone axis, consisting of 2-6 spoon-shaped ± spreading fertile bracts separated by short internodes, sometimes with a sterile cap; ovules borne in a median position on adaxial surface of fertile bract, initially obliquely inclined towards cone axis and partially inverted, becoming erect at maturity; bracts in distal region of cone sterile, reduced in size. Seeds l-5, erect, crowded if more than one; c.3.5 × 2.5 mm, narrowly oblong, rounded in cross-section, with a small rounded recurved micropyle; seed coat purple to black with a glaucous sheen, finely striated; epimatium swollen, fleshy, greenish-yellow, ± smooth-margined, forming a split keeled asymmetrical sheath around base of seed.

Similar Taxa

Distinguished from Huon pine (Lagarostrobus franklinii (Tasmania only)) and other New Zealand Podocarpaceae by the combination of having a dimorphic growth habit (juvenile and adult forms), being a shrub to small tree, imbricate scale-like mature foliage leaves have a lax female cone comprised of several spoon-shaped fertile bracts, oblique partially inverted ovules, resiniferous bark, mycorrhizal root nodules lacking epidermal hairs, underground stems, oblong seed rounded in cross-section, and swollen fleshy epimatium


Throughout the year

Flower Colours

No Flowers


Throughout the year

Propagation Technique

Easily grown from seed. Can also be grown from hardwood cuttings. A slow growing, attractive small tree, which is tolerant of a wide range of growing conditions.


Not Threatened

Chromosome No.

2n = 20

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


 Fact Sheet Citation

Please cite as:  de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of Access): Manoao colensoi Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. http://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora_details.aspx?ID=1390 (Date website was queried)



Prepared by P.J. de Lange for NZPCN, 3 February 2006. Description from Molloy (1995).

References and further reading

Molloy, B.P.J. 1995: Manoao (Podocarpaceae), a new monotypic conifer genus endemic to New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 33: 183-201

Moorfield, J. C. (2005). Te aka : Maori-English, English-Maori dictionary and index.  Pearson Longman:  Auckland, N.Z.

This page last updated on 16 Sep 2018