Syn.: Nageia novae-caledoniae (Viell.) Kuntze 1891 (Farjon 1998); Podocarpus beecherae de Laubenfels 2003. Farjon (2010) provides a fairly detailed rationale for reducing P. beecherae to synonymy with P. novae-caledoniae; the crux of his argument is that no characters reliably serve to distinguish the species except color of the ripe fruit (purple in P. novae-caledoniae, greenish in P. beecherae), and that this is not a sufficient distinction to warrant describing a new species.
De Laubenfels (2003) provided the following description of P. beecherae, which shall serve until I have an opportunity to describe a more representative P. novae-caledoniae:
A monecious shrub or small tree up to 6 m tall. Crown rounded or elongated on tall specimens. Much-branch, with leaves sometimes crowded near the apex of the shoots. Bark fibrous, brown when young, weathering to grey. Leaves linear to linear-lanceolate, expanding in the basal c. 1 cm and widest proximal to the midpoint, the basal 3–5 mm forming more or less of a petiole, 3–6 cm × 3–4.5 mm, straight and slightly recurved margins, flat, or the two sides forming a slight “V”, with a very weak midrib or more commonly with a slight trough, bluntly ribbed below, shiny light green to yellow-green above, lighter green below and glaucous (waxy) except over the midrib, narrowing in the distal 4–5 mm to an acute or sub-acute apex, sometimes bluntly rounded. Juvenile leaves variable, up to 8–10 cm × 5 mm, linear-lanceolate, narrowly acute. Leaves on seedlings 2–3 cm × 2.5–4 mm. Primary scales of foliage buds erect triangular, keeled, 1–2 × 0.5 mm, secondary scales not seen. Pollen cones solitary or in groups of 2–3, sessile, 10–14 × 2–2.5 mm, yellow. Microsporophylls 0.6 mm long with two lateral pollen sacs and a tiny triangular apex between the pollen sacs. Pollen cone buds with erect keeled triangular scales about 0.5 mm long, secondary scales overlapping in a globular head 1 mm diam. before expanding. Female structure with a peduncle 3.5–7 mm long, foliola 1.5–2 mm long reflexed and sometimes missing on fully ripe fruit, receptacle formed by two slightly unequal bracts 4–6 × 4 mm, becoming swollen and fleshy at maturity, when 10–12 × 7 mm, light green-yellow and glaucous (waxy), the longer bract bearing an irregularly ellipsoid (rounder on one side) seed near its apex 8 × 5 mm., glaucous green with a blunt-pyramidal apex (de Laubenfels 2003).
New Caledonia (de Laubenfels 1972).
The IUCN reports that the population status is stable.
Laubenfels, D.J. de. 2003. A new species of Podocarpus from the maquis of New Caledonia. New Zealand Journal of Botany 41: 715-718. http://www.royalsociety.org.nz/site/publish/journals/nzjb/2003/054.aspx, accessed 2008.10.22, now defunct.
Association Endemia, a site devoted to New Caledonian species. Has excellent photos, a range map, and other information. In French.
Last Modified 2012-11-23