Lagarostrobos franklinii

Huon Pine

Family Podocarpaceae

Botanical name. Lagarostrobos comes from two Greek words lagaros= thin, and strobos= cone. The species name franklinii honours Sir John Franklin, 1786­1847, naval captain, arctic explorer and governor of Tasmania from 1836 to 1843.

distribution mapHabitat. Most of the trees are found in rainforest along the banks of rivers.

Features. These trees reach a height of 30 m and grow very slowly (about 1 mm per year). The Huon Pine is one of Australia's longest lived trees, some individuals are more than 2300 years old. These trees reproduce vegetatively (by layering and root suckering) as well as by seed. The male and female cones are usually found on separate trees and the seeds are spread by water or by birds. The female cones are made up of fleshy scales.

drawingEuropean use. The timber has been used for furniture and boat building since 1820 but is now no longer logged. The wood is a pale straw colour and can last for many years on the ground due to the high percentage of oils (up to about 7% by weight of the wood). The oil has been used for dressing wounds, treating toothache and as an insecticide. The timber is resistant to attack by rot and marine organisms, which makes it useful for ship-building.

huon pine photo

Education Service - Australian National Botanic Gardens