Herb: Kahikatea

Latin name: Dacrycarpus dacrydioides

Synonyms: Podocarpus dacrydioides

Family: Podocarpaceae (Podocarpus Family)

Edible parts of Kahikatea:

Fruit - raw. A sweet taste, it is palatable but with a slightly oily taste. Also used as a masticatory (this last report probably refers to the use of the resin). A resin is obtained from the tree, it is used as a chewing gum.

Description of the plant:


6 m
(20 feet)

Habitat of the herb:

Lowland forest, often dominant in swamp forests, North, South and Stewart Islands.

Other uses of Kahikatea:

Plants are fairly amenable to trimming and could possible be grown as a hedge in mild areas of the country. Wood - yellowish, easily worked. Used for general carpentry and for paper pulp.

Propagation of the herb:

The seed can be very slow to germinate, often taking 18 months or more. It is best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Sow stored seed as early in the year as possible. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Give them some protection from the cold for their first winter or two outdoors. Cuttings of short leading shoots, late summer in a frame. Plant out in late spring after the last expected frosts. It side shoots are used as cuttings they will form prostrate plants.

Cultivation of Kahikatea:

Lowland forest, often dominant in swamp forests, North, South and Stewart Islands.

Medicinal use of the herb:

None known

Known hazards of Dacrycarpus dacrydioides:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.