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Podocarpus gracilior2.jpg
Afrocarpus gracilior
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales
Family: Podocarpaceae
Genus: Afrocarpus
(Buchanan-Hamilton & N.E.Gray) C.N.Page
Type species
Afrocarpus falcatus
( Thunberg) C.N.Page

Afrocarpus dawei
Afrocarpus falcatus
Afrocarpus gaussenii
Afrocarpus gracilior
Afrocarpus mannii
Afrocarpus usambarensis

Afrocarpus is a genus of conifers belonging to the family Podocarpaceae. Afrocarpus was designated a genus in 1989, when several species formerly classified in Podocarpus and Nageia were reclassified. [1] Two to six species are recognized.

As the name intimates, Afrocarpus is native to Africa. The species are distributed through the Afromontane forests of eastern and southern Africa, descending to the Indian Ocean coast in South Africa. A. gaussenii is native of Madagascar.

The podocarps are associated with the ancient supercontinent of Gondwana, where they were characteristic of the cool, moist southern Gondwana flora. Gondwana broke up into the continents of South America, Africa, India, Australia, and Antarctica between 160 and 30 million years ago. As Africa drifted north, it became hotter and drier, and the podocarps generally retreated to the cool, moist highlands of eastern and southern Africa.

In South Africa, this wood is mostly used to make exclusive furniture.


Afrocarpus gaussenii was based on a single specimen of a cultivated individual of Afrocarpus falcatus in Madagascar. Its distinctive features might have resulted from the conditions of its cultivation. No species of Afrocarpus is known to be native to Madagascar. [2]

In a recent treatment of Afrocarpus, only two species were recognized; A. dawei, A. gracilior, and A. usambarensis were sunk into A. falcatus. The reason for this merger was that "variation across the group appears to be essentially continuous". [2]



  1. ^ Christopher N. Page. 1989. "New and maintained genera in the conifer families Podocarpaceae and Pinaceae". Notes of the Royal Botanical Garden Edinburgh 45(2): 377-395.
  2. ^ a b James E. Eckenwalder. 2009. Conifers of the World. Timber Press: Portland, OR, USA. ISBN 978-0-88192-974-4.

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