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Retrophyllum comptonii 2.jpg
Retrophyllum comptonii
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales
Family: Podocarpaceae
Genus: Retrophyllum
Type species
Retrophyllum vitiense
(B.C. Seemann) C.N. Page

Retrophyllum is a genus of coniferous gymnosperms in the family Podocarpaceae. [1] It has a disjunct distribution in the Southern Hemisphere, found in Papuasia and also in South America.[2][3]

Fossil Record Retrophyllum shoots have a distinctive morphology in which the leaves are in opposite pairs, and twisted in such a way that the abaxial surface of one leaf is up, and in the other it is down. This feature, added to a distinctive epidermal morphology means that well-preserved specimens can be easily identified in the fossil record. The fossil record shows that Retophyllum was present in the Cenozoic of Australia (Hill and Pole 1992) and New Zealand (Pole 1992, 1997). It is now extinct in both places.

Taxonomy In a 2009 book on conifers, Retrophyllum piresii was treated as conspecific with Retrophyllum rospigliosii. The author stated "One specimen from low elevations in Brazil was separated as a distinct species, but it falls well within the range of variation of the species as a whole and is geographically close to some locations in Peru."

  1. Retrophyllum comptonii (J.Buchholz) C.N.Page - New Caledonia
  2. Retrophyllum minus (Carrière) C.N.Page - Plaine des Lacs in New Caledonia
  3. Retrophyllum piresii (Silba) C.N.Page - Serra dos Pacaás Novos in Rondônia State in W Brazil
  4. Retrophyllum rospigliosii (Pilg.) C.N.Page - Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil
  5. Retrophyllum vitiense (Seem.) C.N.Page - Maluku, New Guinea, Fiji, Bismarck Archipelago, Santa Cruz Islands


  1. ^ Christopher N. Page. 1990. "Podocarpaceae" pages 332-346. In: Klaus Kubitzki (general editor); Karl U. Kramer and Peter S. Green (volume editors) The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants volume I. Springer-Verlag: Berlin;Heidelberg, Germany. ISBN 978-0-387-51794-0
  2. ^ a b Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  3. ^ James E. Eckenwalder. 2009. Conifers of the World. Timber Press: Portland, OR, USA. ISBN 978-0-88192-974-4.


Hill, R.S. and Pole, M.S., 1992. Leaf and Shoot Morphology of Extant Afrocarpus, Nageia and Retrophyllum (Podocarpaceae) Species, and Species with similar Leaf Arrangement from Tertiary sediments in Australasia. Australian Systematic Botany.

Pole, M.S., 1992. Early Miocene flora of the Manuherikia Group, New Zealand. 2. Conifer. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand, 22: 287-302.

Pole, M.S., 1997. Miocene conifers from the Manuherikia Group, New Zealand. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand, 27: 355-370.

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