The genus Agathis
, commonly known as kauri
, is a relatively small genus
of 21 species of evergreen trees
in the very ancient Araucariaceae
family of conifers
. While initially widespread during the Jurassic
period they are now found only in small areas of the southern hemisphere
. The trees have characteristically very large trunks and little or no branching for some way up. Young trees are normally conical in shape, only upon maturity does the crown become more rounded or irregularly shaped.
The bark is smooth and light grey to grey-brown usually peeling into irregular flakes that become thicker on more mature trees. The branch structure is often horizontal or when larger, becoming more ascending. The lowest branches often leave circular branch scars as they fall off from the lower trunk.
The juvenile leaves in all species are larger than the adult, more or less acute, varying among the species from ovate to lanceolate. Adult leaves are opposite, elliptical to linear, and very leathery and quite thick. Young leaves are often a coppery-red, contrasting markedly with the usually green or glaucous-green foliage of the previous season.
The male pollen cones appear usually only on larger trees after seed cones have appeared. The female seed cones usually develop on short lateral branchlets, maturing after two years. They are normally oval or globe shaped.
The trees are the source of Dammar Gum.
Seeds of some species are attacked by the caterpillars of one of the most primitive of all living moths, Agathiphaga.
- Agathis atropurpurea - Black Kauri, Blue Kauri (Queensland, Australia)
- Agathis australis - Kauri, New Zealand Kauri (North Island, New Zealand)
- Agathis borneensis - (western Malesia, Borneo)
- Agathis corbassonii - Red Kauri (New Caledonia)
- Agathis dammara (syn. A. celebica) - Bindang (eastern Malesia)
- Agathis endertii - (Borneo)
- Agathis flavescens - (Borneo)
- Agathis kinabaluensis - (Borneo)
- Agathis labilliardieri - (New Guinea)
- Agathis lanceolata - (New Caledonia)
- Agathis lenticula - (Borneo)
- Agathis macrophylla (syn. A. vitiensis) - Pacific Kauri, Dakua (Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands)
- Agathis microstachya - Bull Kauri (Queensland, Australia)
- Agathis montana - (New Caledonia)
- Agathis moorei - White Kauri (New Caledonia)
- Agathis orbicula - (Borneo)
- Agathis ovata - (New Caledonia)
- Agathis philippinensis - (Philippines, Sulawesi)
- Agathis robusta - Queensland Kauri (Queensland, Australia; New Guinea)
- Agathis silbae - (Vanuatu)
- Agathis spathulata - New Guinea Kauri (New Guinea)
Various species of kauri give diverse resins
such as kauri copal and Manilla copal, as well as timber
, which is straight-grained and of fine quality.
The wood is commonly used in the manufacture of mid-ranged guitars, due to its good resonating properties, yet relatively low price of production. It is also used for some Go boards (goban).