Prumnopitys ferruginea

Prumnopitys ferruginea

Prumnopitys ferruginea is a species of the genus Prumnopitys within the family stone Yews ( Podocarpaceae ). It is native to New Zealand where it is known Miro.


Prumnopitys ferruginea grows as evergreen tree reaching heights of growth of up to 25 meters and a trunk diameter of up to 1.3 meters. The almost needle-like leaves are straight to sickle-shaped, 15-25 mm long and 2-3 mm wide with edges bent down.

Prumnopitys ferruginea is dioecious getrenntgeschlechtig ( dioecious ). The male inflorescences are single, female hanging from a curved, scaly stalk down. The pin is highly modified and reduced to a 2 to 3 cm long stem which carries one to three scales. Each scale matures to a red to purple- red, berry-like, oval, 20 mm long and 10 to 15 millimeters wide aril which is soft and edible and envelops a single seed.

The seeds are spread by the Maori pigeon ( kereru ), which eats the aril including seeds and the seed sheds it.

Distinction between Miro and Matai

Miro is different from the related, similar type Prumnopitys taxifolia ( Matai ) in the cones, bark, and needles:

  • Miro have longer, wider needles with green bottom, Matai has a white leaf. The needles of Miro to run to a peak, which are rounded, sometimes with a small tip at the very end of Matai.
  • Miro have red tinted cones that are Matai blue black. The Journal of Miro are also relatively longer and more oval.
  • In both trees, the bark peels off in flakes and leaves a hammertone -like pattern. However, Miro has not such a strong and colored pattern. In Matai are the surfaces on which the bark is freshly fallen, often bright red and gradually fade to brown.


Prumnopitys ferruginea is native to New Zealand. It occurs both in the lowlands and on the slopes of hills on both main islands and Stewart Iceland.


Before the genus Prumnopitys was split, the species was classified in the genus Podocarpus ferrugineus as Podocarpus.

The specific epithet is derived from the ferruginea rust-brown color of the dried leaves in the herbarium.


  • John Dawson, Rob Lucas: Nature guide to the New Zealand forest. Godwit, Auckland 2000, ISBN 1869620550th
  • L. Cockyane, E. Phillips Turner: The Trees of New Zealand. Government Printer, Wellington, 1943.
  • A. L. Poole, N.M. Adams: Trees and shrubs of New Zealand. Government Printer, Wellington 1963.