Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index


Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales
Family: Podocarpaceae
Genus: Dacrydium
Species: cupressinum

Rimu (Dacrydium cupressinum) is a large forest tree native to New Zealand. It is also known as red pine, although this name is misleading since it is not strictly a pine, and other trees also have the same name.

Rimu grows throughout New Zealand, on the North Island, South Island and Stewart Island, although most trees are now found on the West Coast of the South Island.

The trunk of the tree grows as high as 20 metres tall. Male and female cones grow on separate trees, and the fertilised seeds are held on the female tree for 15 months. The breeding cycle of the kakapo has been linked to rimu's fruiting cycle.

Historically, rimu and other native trees such as kauri and totara were the main sources of wood for New Zealand, including furniture and house construction. However, many of New Zealand's original stands of rimu have been exhausted, and recent government policies forbid the felling of many remaining forests. Pinus radiata has now replaced rimu in most industries, although rimu remains popular for the production of high quality wooden furniture.

In Polynesian mythology, Rimu is a god of the dead.