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Tanekaha facts for kids

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Tanekaha Kahuroa.jpg
Conservation status
Scientific classification

Phyllocladus trichomanoides, the tanekaha or celery pine, is a coniferous tree endemic to New Zealand.


Tanekaha is a medium-sized forest tree growing up to 25 m in height and 1 m trunk diameter. The main structural shoots are green-skinned for 2–3 years, then turn brown as the bark thickens. The leaves are sparse, tiny, scale-like, 2–3 mm long, and only green (photosynthetic) for a short time, soon turning brown.

Most photosynthesis is performed by phylloclades, highly modified, leaf-like short shoots; these are arranged alternately, 10-15 on a shoot, the individual phylloclades rhombic, 1.5-2.5 cm long. The seed cones are berry-like, with a fleshy white aril surrounding but not fully enclosing the single seed.


In the North Island this species is found in lowland forests from Te Paki to 40°S. In the South Island this species is found in northern Marlborough and Nelson to 41°30'S.

Economic uses

Like the kauri, tanekaha shed their lower branches, producing smooth straight trunks and knot-free timber which is sought after for its strength.

The bark is rich in tannin, from which Māori extracted a red dye.

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