Podocarpus acutifolius, n. s.
A low growing shrub, 2–5 feet high; branches lax, slender. Leaves scattered, green, coriaceous, spreading, straight, linear, acuminate, pungent; midrib prominent beneath. Peduncles of male catkins½″–1″ long or more, naked or with one or two short pungent leaves: catkins solitary, or in fascicles of from two to five, extremely slender. Involucre at the base of each catkin consisting of four scarious acuminate bracts. Female flowers solitary, axillary, on short peduncles, which in the young state are invested with a loose membranous sheath. Drupe (immature), small, ovoid.
Hab. South Island—Upper part of the Buller Valley: T. Kirk, 1875.
Our plant belongs to the section Eupodocarpus, its nearest allies being P. totara, A. Cunn., and P. nivalis, Hook. f. From the former it is distinguished by its low stature, lax habit, narrow linear leaves, and slender catkins with uniseriate involucres; it differs from the latter in the slender habit and acute spreading leaves, which are never imbricated.
It varies to some extent in the size of the leaves and in habit, but is easily recognized in all its forms. Sometimes the leaves are shorter than in the specimens figured and more closely arranged.
My specimens were obtained in the vicinity of Rotoiti, not far from the outflow of the lake. I have to acknowledge my indebtedness to Mr. Cheeseman for specimens collected in another habitat lower down the valley.