Family: Araucariaceae
Common Name: Kauri, Kauri Pine

This genus of around 13 species of evergreen conifers is native to the South Pacific region, with only three or four species cultivated. These tall, erect, slow-growing trees, most with huge, column-shaped trunks, produce timber that is relatively straight and free of knots. The leaves of the kauris differ from those of nearly all other conifers in that they are large, flat and leathery. The cones, too, are different, and look rather like a small pineapple. The pattern on the cones has inspired the name of the genus which derives from the Greek word for 'a ball of string'.


A. australis, New Zealand kauri, is highly valued around the world for its timber and gum. While it grows beautifully in the wild in the North Island of New Zealand, in Cultivation it is not particularly easy to establish. Although slow growing, it can reach heights of 50 m (160 ft). It has a compact, conical shape, with a trunk of around 8 m (26 ft) in perimeter. Its narrow, mid-green leaves, about 5 cm (2 in) long, turn coppery brown in cold weather. A humid Climate and deep soil are essential for its Cultivation.

A. robusta, Queensland kauri, is prized for its knot-free timber. This tall, frost-hardy evergreen, zone 9, grows to 45 m (150 ft), and has a much more open and erect growth pattern than the New Zealand species. Its straight trunk is 3-4 m (10-13 ft) in diameter and its deep green leaves are 5-10 cm (2-4 in) long. It occurs naturally in widely separated areas of Queensland and can therefore be cultivated in quite different Climates. If cultivated in warmer coastal areas it is able to adapt to a variety of soil types and grows quickly. However, it can also be grown successfully in cooler coastal regions.


Agathis are grown in pots under glass in areas prone to frost. They do well outdoors in warm frost-free Climates. Roth species described below can be propagated from seed.


Grow in frost-free areas; zones 9 to 10 and above depending on species.

Agastache      Agave