Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Prumnopitys ladei (F.M.Bailey) de Laub.

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Leaves and fruit. © CSIRO
Fruit, side views, transverse section and seed. © W. T. Cooper
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon and 10th leaf stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Laubenfels, D.J. de (1978) Blumea 24: 190.

Common name

Mount Spurgeon Black Kauri Pine; Pine, Mt Spurgeon; Mt Spurgeon Pine; Brown Pine; Mount Spurgeon Kauri Pine; Pine, Brown; Pine, Mount Spurgeon Black Kauri


Blaze odour pine-like (Pinus spp.). Exudate almost clear, slow, meagre and inconspicuous. Bark, particularly on the upper stem of large trees, shed in large flakes.


Leaf blades rather small, less than 2.5 cm long and about 0.2-0.3 cm wide, usually alternate and not spirally arranged on the twigs. Petioles very short or absent. A small ridge running down the twig from the base of each petiole.


Male cones about 7-20 x 2-2.5 mm, peduncle short or nil.


Receptacle small and inconspicuous. Fruits globular or ellipsoid, about 25-30 x 20-25 mm. Seed about 18-20 x 12-15 mm. Endocarp thick, about 2-6 mm and hard. Embryo quite small.


Cotyledons two, linear, about 25-30 x 1-2 mm long. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade oblong, about 8-10 x 2 mm, sessile, apex apiculate, base cuneate, no lateral veins present. Seedling glabrous. Seedling usually branched at the first pair of leaves. Seed germination time 279 to 610 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to NEQ, restricted to the Mt Spurgeon-Mt Lewis area. Altitudinal range from 900-1300 m. Grows in well developed mountain rain forest on soils derived from granite.

Natural History & Notes

Seeds eaten by native rats. Cooper & Cooper (1994).

Because of its small leaves, tolerance of low light and slow growth, this species makes an excellent indoor plant and deserves greater recognition.

When cultivated in a garden situation this species exhibits a very symmetrical form with branches down to ground level.

A rare species but produces a useful general purpose timber. Wood specific gravity 0.70. Cause et al. (1989).

Stachycarpus ladei (Bailey) Gaussen, Travaux du Laboratoire Forestier de Touloise Tome 2, sect. 1, 1(2) (fasc. 13) : 102(1974). Podocarpus ladei F.M.Bailey, Queensland Agricultural Journal 15(8): 899(1905), Type: Mount Spurgeon, Mitchell River, Port Douglas, F.W.H. Lade. Leaf specimens, December, 1902; immature fruiting specimens, May, 1905.
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