Scientific name: Prumnopitys taxifolia
English name: Black pine
- native to the Wellington Region
Suits: damp, dry, shade, partial shade, sunny, shelter, coastal forest garden, wetlands and water features
A very popular garden tree due to its divaricating juvenile growth, a potential moa browsing defense. This stage is long lasting and the small leafs are in a brown or pale yellow coloration. Sometimes alsmost white. The crown is bushy and the adult leaves of the Matai are dark green. After required height is reached, an adult tree starts taking form. It can grows up to 25 metre high, often less, with a trunk sometimes up to 2 m diameter. The trunk and bark is dark brown and in older trees, flakes of older bark falls, leaving a distinctive beautiful hammer-like scar patterning on trunk in brown to almost purple coloration.
The fruit a fleshy, edible but oily, aromatic, terpene-tasting with a purple-black colorated drupe eaten by the kereru. The seeds passes through its droppings and are dispersed.
The scientific name taxifolia derives from the resemblance of the leaves to those of the exotic and poisonous yew (Taxus). Matai is not threatened, although as a forest-type it has been greatly reduced through widespread logging. Very few intact examples of Matai-dominated forest remain.
Provides for birds