AskDefine | Define kauri

Dictionary Definition

kauri

Noun

1 resin of the kauri trees of New Zealand; found usually as a fossil; also collected for making varnishes and linoleum [syn: kauri copal, kauri resin, kauri gum]
2 tall timber tree of New Zealand having white straight-grained wood [syn: kaury, Agathis australis]
3 white close-grained wood of a tree of the genus Agathis especially Agathis australis

Extensive Definition

The genus Agathis, commonly known as kauri or dammar, 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.

Species list

thumb|[[Te Matua Ngahere, a kauri in Waipoua Forest, is the second largest tree in New Zealand. The largest tree, Tāne Mahuta, is nearby.]]

Uses

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 budget-priced guitars. It is also used for some Go boards (goban).
kauri in German: Kauri-Bäume
kauri in Spanish: Agathis
kauri in French: Agathis
kauri in Georgian: აგათისი
kauri in Dutch: Agathis
kauri in Japanese: ナギモドキ属
kauri in Russian: Агатис
kauri in Finnish: Kaurit
kauri in Turkish: Agathis
kauri in Ukrainian: Агатис
kauri in Chinese: 贝壳杉属
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