Prumnopitys ferruginea


Prumnopitys: From the Greek prymnos 'hindmost' or 'stern' and pitys 'pine', referring to the location of the resin duct
ferruginea: rust coloured

Common Name(s)

Miro, brown 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


Prumnopitys ferruginea (D.Don) Laubenf.



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


Podocarpus ferruginea D.Don, Stachypitys ferrugineua (D.Don) Bobrov et Melikyan nom. illegit., Stachycarpus ferruginea (D.Don) Tieghem


Endemic. North, South and Stewart Islands.


Common tree of lowland to montane forest.


Stout tree up to 25 m tall. Trunk 1-1.5 m diam., in adults clear of branches for 2/3 of length. Bark thick, grey. Falling in thick, sinuous flakes. Leaves feathery, dark green, green to bronze-green, distichous, erect, narrow-linear, acute, falcate to subfalcate, acute to subacute, mid vein distinct, margins recurved, juveniles up to 30 mm long, those of adults 15-25 x 2-3 mm. Male cones (strobili) solitary, axillary, 5-15 mm long. Ovules solitary (rarely paired), on short branchlets 10 or less mm. long. Fruit a broadly oblong to sub--spherical red, pink-red fleshy drupe up to 20 mm long - fleshy, oily, smelling and tasting strongly of terpenes. Stone elliptic to broadly elliptic 11-17 mm long, dark brown to black-brown.

Similar Taxa

The bright green to bronze-green, feathery foliage, and pink-red, to red plum-like drupes are quite unlike any other New Zealand conifer. However young miro plants might be confused with yew (Taxus baccatus), but can be distinguished by their lack of petioles.


June - August - October

Flower Colours

No Flowers


Fruits take 12-18 months to mature. Ripe fruits are mainly found from November - April

Propagation Technique

Easily grown from fresh seed. Seed may take up to 2 years to germinate. Can be grown from hard-wood cuttings but rather slow to strike.


Not Threatened, although as a forest-type it has been greatly reduced through widespread logging. Very few intact examples of miro-dominated forest remain in the country.

Chromosome No.

2n = 36

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Where To Buy

Not as widely cultivated though still frequently sold by most commercial nurseries and outlets - usually from plants raised from seed. A very beautiful tree which should be more widely grown.

Cultural Use/Importance

The large, oily, red fruits are an important part of the diet of the New Zealand Wood Pigeon/Kereru/Kukupa (Hemiphaga novaezelandiae).

Notes on taxonomy

Stachypitys is regarded as illegitimate because it is a parahomonym of Stachyopitys a fossil conifer genus.

Fact Sheet Citation


Please cite as:  de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of Access): Prumnopitys ferruginea Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. http://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora_details.aspx?ID=794  (Date website was queried)





Prepared by P.J. de Lange for NZPCN, 3 February 2006. Description based on Allan (1961)

References and further reading

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

This page last updated on 17 Sep 2018