Austrotaxus

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Austrotaxus spicata
Austrotaxus spicata.JPG
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales
Family: Taxaceae
Genus: Austrotaxus
Species: A. spicata
Binomial name
Austrotaxus spicata
R.H.Compton

Austrotaxus spicata, the New Caledonia Yew or Southern Yew, is a species of yew, the sole species in the genus Austrotaxus[1]. It is related to the other yews in the genera Taxus and Pseudotaxus.

It is endemic to New Caledonia, occurring in the central and northern parts of the island at 300-1,350 m altitude.

It is a coniferous shrub or small tree, reaching 5–20 m (rarely 25 m) tall with reddish bark. The leaves are lanceolate, flat, 8–12 cm long (up to 17 cm on young plants) and 4 mm broad, dark green above, with two paler green stomatal bands below; they are arranged spirally on the stem.

The seed cones are drupe-like, 20–25 mm long, with a fleshy aril almost completely surrounding the single seed, but with the tip of the seed exposed. The male (pollen) cones are 10–15 mm long, slender.

The markedly longer leaves and large seeds readily distinguish it from the yews in the genus Taxus.

References and external links[edit]

  1. ^ de Laubenfels, D.J. (1972) Gymnospermes. In Flore de La Nouvelle-Calédonie et Dépendances, edited by A. Aubréville and J. F. Leroy, 4:1–168. Paris: Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle.