Tree 4-12(20) m tall. Branches in many small divergent shoots. Bark showing hard and smooth cuticles with various small lenticels, becoming gray with age, fibrous inside, shedding in thick brown plates. Juvenile leaves fine and needle-like, up to 13 mm long, gradually changing into adult leaves. Adult leaves thick, tapering off strongly from a large decurrent base 1-2 mm, divergent and slightly incurved ending in a blunt apex, 3-4.5 mm long, having a strong dorsal carina, sharp margins, often slightly glaucous. Pollen cone cylindrical, 8-15 × 2 mm, terminal, often on short branches, or lateral, or both. Microsporophylls triangular, sharp and not very long. Seed cone terminal, on long or short branches with foliage just below the cone that is 20 mm long; often twisted below the fertile part. Cone scales 3.5-4 mm long, never exceeding more than 1 mm in width. Ovule reversed at first completely buried in the scales of the cone but becoming gradually almost erect. Seed 5 × 3.5mm, separating when ripe from the ridge of the cone scale but remaining more or less surrounded by them, slightly emerging, oval-long, large and thick, tapering off to a dull apex with a lateral, distinct carina (de Laubenfels 1972).
New Caledonia, at elevations from 0-1000 m (mean 387 m). Within its range, mean annual temperature is 21.1°C, with an average minimum in the coldest month of 14.1°C, and a mean annual precipitation of 1636 mm (Biffin et al. 2011, Table S5).
Dacrydium balansae occurs throughout the main island in the drier parts of the forests. It normally grows on serpentine soils from sea level to 1000 m above sea level. The few herbarium specimens that have been collected in ombrophilous forest came from very tall trees almost 20m tall (de Laubenfels 1972).
The IUCN reports that the population status is stable.
De Laubenfels (1972) reports collections from the following locales:
The species is named for its collector, Benedict Balansa (1825-1892), French botanist and explorer, as is another gymnosperm, Cycas balansae.
Thanks to Ferenc Kiss for translating de Laubenfels from the French (2003.11).
Association Endemia, a site devoted to New Caledonian species. Has excellent photos, a range map, and other information. In French.
Brongniart and Grisebach. 1869. Bull. Soc. Bot. France 16 : 328; also Ann. Sci. Nat. Paris, ser. 5, 13 : 344 (1871).
Guillaumin, Bull. Mus. Hist. Nat. Paris 18 : (1912).
Däniker, Mitt. Bot. Mus. Zürich 142: 45 (1932).
Pilger, in Engler, Pflanzenreich 4(5): (1903).
Sarlin, Bois et Forêts Nouvelle-Calédonie: p. 91 and pl. 20 (1954).
Last Modified 2013-03-26