Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

New Zealand: Rimu

with 16 comments

Rimu Tree Branches 4323

Another of Aotearoa’s rākau rangatira, or chiefly trees, is the rimu, Dacrydium cupressinum, a member of the family that botanists call Podocarpaceae. These trees, which have been known to reach 50 meters, have distinctive leaves, and that’s what you’re seeing here in a photograph from Kawau Island on February 12th. You’re welcome to read more about the rimu, which when young reminds some people of a weeping willow; this picture lets you see why.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 16, 2015 at 5:26 AM

Posted in nature photography

Tagged with , , ,

16 Responses

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  1. Great photo. Rimu was used extensively post war in building new state houses. It is a hard wood and stands up well over time. But they didn’t do enough to replace what they used which is a shame.

    Raewyn's Photos

    April 16, 2015 at 2:28 PM

  2. I imagine that you will be showing us the entire tree at some point. This frame filler is pleasing and I would love to see the tree in person.

    Steve Gingold

    April 16, 2015 at 5:00 PM

  3. Steve, your photograph gives the impression that the leaves are soft, but a closer look has me thinking otherwise. I like the waterfall effect of your image too, with the leaves at the bottom affecting the spray one would observe at the base. Soothing.

    I peeked at the more about: Impressive tree! I particularly liked it in fruit.


    April 17, 2015 at 6:46 AM

    • I had the same reaction: when I saw the picture of the rimu in fruit I wished I could have been there in the right season to see and photograph the red/green combination. As for the leaves, I don’t believe I ever touched them but a book I was using said that they’re prickly rather than soft.

      You’ve got a good green imagination this morning to see this as a waterfall, even to the spray at the bottom. Excellent.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 17, 2015 at 6:56 AM

  4. Just catching up with your newest round of NZ photos. I love the graceful flow of leaves downward and on the diagonal, creating such a strong sense of movement in a still photograph. (I enjoyed the previous commenter’s description of the leaves in the photograph as like a waterfall, which seems just right.) Must be magnificent to see “live.”

    Susan Scheid

    April 18, 2015 at 3:47 PM

    • You picked a good time, Susan, because after 11 NZ photos in the current round I’m switching back to Texas tomorrow to try (in vain) to keep pace with the spring here. Yes, it’s great to see all these things live, and the rimu was one tree that l learned to recognize fairly easily because of its willowy waterfall of leaves. I wish I could be back in NZ as easily as I can switch back to pictures from there.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 18, 2015 at 4:08 PM

  5. Even after you mentioned the weeping willow, I had a hard time seeing it. My first thought was of our beautiful bald cypress, whose leaves can be as thick and graceful as those you’ve shown above. After I looked at the images on the linked page, though, the similarities weren’t as obvious. In a couple of the photos (the ones showing the fruit) the leaves almost had the look of succulents. I’d love to see one in person, to get a “feel” for it.


    April 19, 2015 at 5:43 PM

    • Thanks for pointing out the general resemblance to our bald cypress, which I hadn’t thought of comparing. I, too, would love to see more rimus, especially when they’re full of the bright red fruits I never got to see because it was the wrong time of year for them.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 19, 2015 at 9:34 PM

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