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Agathis vitiensis

(Seem.) Bentham & Hooker f.

Conservation status 2010: protocol 2.3, needs updating

Common Names

Melanesian kauri (Silba 1986 [as A. macrophylla]).

Taxonomic notes

Syn: A. obtusa (Lindl.) Mast., A. macrophylla (Lindl.) Mast.


"A stout tree 30-45 m tall, 3.6-5 m in girth, with wide-spreading branches. Bark whitish, reddish internally, strongly scaly. Crown to 36 m in diameter with huge limbs. Buds small, brown, rounded. Branchlets nearly quadrangular, smooth, olive-brown. Leaves lanceolate, thick, 9-18 cm long by 1.8-5 cm wide, dark green above, narrowed at the apex, margins recurved, often glaucous below, obtuse, with a short flattened petiole. Male strobili cylindrical, 2-2.5 cm long by 0.8-1 cm wide, on a stout peduncle 3-7 mm long; microsporophylls strongly imbricate, margins thin, entire or erose. Female cone ovoid or globular, 9-12.5 cm long by 7-10 cm wide, glaucous; scales acuminate, with a lip. Seed to 1.2 cm long, one wing short, another to 2 cm long by 1.5 cm wide" (Silba 1986 [as A. macrophylla]).

Distribution and Ecology

"Solomon Islands; New Hebrides; Fiji, 200-900 m" (Silba 1986 [as A. macrophylla]).

This species (as Agathis vitiensisis) is listed as "LR/nt" (lower risk, near threatened) by the WCMC, which adds: "A massive tree and important timber species. It is found in low densities. It could become of conservation concern if logging were to become more intensive."

Big tree



One exploratory collection (Weaver 1988) found that "The nature of the wood formation in this species led to problems in the analysis of the cores and poor statistical confidence in the results", although the species is usable for tree age determinations if stem sections can be taken. A second study (Ash 1985) found that number of rings was only an approximate indicator of age.





Ash, J. 1985. Growth rings and longevity of Agathis vitiensis (Seemann) Benth. & Hook. f. ex Drake in Fiji. Australian Journal of Botany 33(1):81-88.

Weaver, S.A. 1988. The use of increment cores for the analysis of tree ring chronologies for Fijian kauri (Agathis macrophylla). Tuatara (Wellington) 30:51-54.

See also

Last Modified 2012-11-23