Agathis

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Agathis
Agathis australis (New Zealand Kauri)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales
Family: Araucariaceae
Genus: Agathis

Agathis is a genus of evergreen, coniferous trees, the kauri. They grow mainly in the southern hemisphere, including southeast Asia, areas of the western Pacific, and Australasia.

Agathis is a relatively small genus, with only 21 known species. As a conifer, it bears its seeds in conifer cones. Mature Agathis can become quite large, reaching 130 feet (about 40 m) in height and 10 feet (about 3 m) in diameter.

The genus is part of the ancient Araucariaceae family of conifers, a group once widespread during the Jurassic period, but now largely restricted to the southern hemisphere.

Description[change | edit source]

Mature kauri trees have large trunks, forming a bole with little or no branching below the crown. In contrast, young trees are normally conical in shape, forming a more rounded or irregularly shaped crown as they mature.[1]

Uses[change | edit source]

In the logging industry it is generally referred to as commercial grade mahogany. Timber from the Agathis has several uses, including cabinet making, boat building, musical instruments, and in years past, artificial limbs. It also produces a wide variety of resins.

References[change | edit source]

  1. Whitmore T.C. 1977. A first look at Agathis. Tropical Forestry Papers #11. University of Oxford Commonwealth Forestry Institute.