Herb: Alpine Totara
Latin name: Podocarpus nivalis
Family: Podocarpaceae (Podocarpus Family)
Edible parts of Alpine Totara:Fruit - raw or cooked. Sweet and pleasant to taste. The fruit is about 7mm long.
Description of the plant:
(9 3/4 foot)
Habitat of the herb:Upper forest margins, sub-alpine slopes and occasionally in lowland forests of North and South Islands southwards from latitude 36° 50'
Other uses of Alpine Totara:Plants have a sprawling habit, the branches rooting as they grow, and can be grown as a tall ground cover. They are best spaced about 1.2 metres apart.
Propagation of the herb:The seed can be sown at any time of the year in a sandy soil in a warm greenhouse, though it is probably best sown as soon as it is ripe. 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. Cuttings of half-ripe terminal shoots, 5 - 10cm long, July/August in a frame.
Cultivation of Alpine Totara:Upper forest margins, sub-alpine slopes and occasionally in lowland forests of North and South Islands southwards from latitude 36° 50'
Medicinal use of the herb:None known
Known hazards of Podocarpus nivalis:Superficially similar to Taxus species, but this plant is definitely not poisonous.
Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.