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Dacrydium spp.

Dacrydium cupressinum and Dacrydium nidulum of the family Podocarpaceae. Rimu is a New Zealand softwood which grows in most parts the country. In the past it was used for building and furniture manufacture. Today it can only be harvested on a sustainable basis and so is in extremely short supply and would now not be used much as a building timber except for some high-quality finishing work. My thanks to Bruce Hannah for this summary.

I have not personally seen this species in the USA except in limited supply as a veneer and as formal wood samples (which are only 6" x 3")

a note about huon pine vs rimu

Huon pine is primarily native to Tasmania and rimu is primarily native to New Zealand but also grows in Australia, New Caledonia, Malaysia and Borneo. The folks down there probably don't get them confused at all, I just thought I'd point out some possible confusion in the USA.

Part of the confusion probably stems from the fact that huon pine, Lagarostrobos franklinii, used to be designated as Dacrydium franklinii, whereas rimu is the common name for a couple of closely related species, Dacrydium cupressinum and Dacrydium nidulum. Also, the rimu species have huon pine as one of their common names, although they probably really shouldn't. I am not familiar with the two woods up close and personal, but it appears that they should be fairly easy to distinguish from each other.

The name-sets, as best as I can distinguish them, are as follows (the family is Podocarpaceae):
  • Dacrydium cupressinum = rimu, new zealand red pine, sempilor, rimu dacrydium, huon pine, sempilor, yaka
  • Dacrydium nidulum = rimu, melor, huon pine, fijan dacrydium, sempilor, yaka, ekor kuda, ru bukit, dakua salusalu, hoang dan and a few others
  • Lagarostrobos franklinii (syn. Dacrydium franklinii) = huon pine, tasmainian pine, huon, huon dacrydium, macquerie pine

my samples:
NOTE: these pics were all taken in very bright incandescent lighting ("soft white" at 2700K)
colors will vary under other lighting conditions

both sides of a sample plank of rimu / Dacrydium cupressinum --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by Mark Peet whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.

end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above

END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above

veneer sample contributed to the site by Wade Whitbeck (thanks Wade)

web pics:

NOTE: all of the following are from Bruce Hannah of New Zealand, whom I thank for the pics. These are different views of about 5 planks from Bruces's stock.

plank and closeup

end grain closeup

plank closeups with millimeter scales

planks from Bruce Hannah

two sections of rimu

a very well-photographed, 3" long, piece listed as rimu / Dacrydium cuprressinum with both levels of enlargement, the 2nd of which shows the face grain very nicely


planks, all from the same vendor

planks listed as "heart" rimu



flooring from recylced rimu


candle holder and chopping board


letter holder, photo album, and shakers

salad set, tongs, and trivet