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Products > Agathis robusta
 
Agathis robusta - Queensland Kauri
   

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Tree
Family: Araucariaceae (Araucarias)
Origin: Australia (Australasia)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: NA
Bloomtime: Not Significant
Synonyms: [Dammera robusta, Agathis palerstoni]
Height: 80-100 feet
Width: 15-30 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 15-20 F
Agathis robusta (Queensland Kauri) - A tall upright growing conifer to 80 feet or more in cultivation (150 feet in habitat) with thick, opposite or spirally-arranged leathery elliptic leaves that are 3 to 4 inch long and 1 to 2 inches wide. The vertically straight trunk, often with a spiral twist, has light grey-brown bark that flakes off to expose a lighter layer below. This species is monoecious with separate male and female cones on the same tree. The male (pollen) cones are narrow reddish brown and cylindrical, 2 to 3 inches in length and erect when held on the tree but curled slightly when dropped to the ground. The 4 to 6 inch tall rounded seed cones, held erect in the high branches, are initially green and mature to brown when they begin falling apart while they are still held on the tree. Plant in full sun and give regular to occasional irrigation. It is noted as hardy to Sunset Zone 15 by Elizabeth McClintock in her "Trees of Golden Gate Park" and our tree was not damaged in the freeze of 1990 when temperatures dipped to 18 F. A magnificent large evergreen upright tree for a garden or street planting and in Australia it is sometimes used for interiorscapes. There are large specimens of this tree in Santa Barbara and the Los Angeles area. Notable are plants at Santa Barbara City College, Lotusland, Alameda Park and the Huntington Botanic Gardens. The plant at the Huntington is notable as it was moved between 1907 and 1908 and in book The Huntington Botanical Gardens written by longtime garden superintendent William Hertrich who notes that at the time they moved this tree it was 40 feet tall and even at 5 feet in depth had few side roots so the tap root was cut and seared with a blow torch before transplanting. This tree, now an immense specimen in their rose garden area is often lovingly referred to as the world's biggest cutting. We also have a large tree on the grounds of the nursery - our plants have been grown from seed collected from some of the these specimen trees in Santa Barbara. It is native to areas of subtropical rainforest on the mainland in Queensland and on Fraser Island in Australia, though most large specimens on the mainland have been harvested. The name of the genus comes from the Greek word 'agathos', meaning "good", likely in reference to the quality of the wood. The specific epithet is the Latin word for "strong" or "robust" in reference to the vigorous growth of the tree. The common name most commonly used is an adaption of the Maori name of Kauri for the New Zealand species, Agathis australis - in Australia this plant is called a Dammar Pine.  This description is based on research and observations of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in our nursery garden and in other gardens that we visit. We also incorporate comments received and appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have any additional information about this plant, particularly if they disagree with what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Agathis robusta.
 
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