Retrophyllum minus (= R. minor)
Corkwood Tree, “Bois Bouchon”
Astounding, that’s what botanists say when they see Retrophyllum minor in habitat. A true water dweller, it grows on ultramafic soils just off the banks of streams in southern New Caledonia, where it is endangered by mining activities. Young plants establish themselves between the reeds along the streams edge and as they grow and mature, they anchor themselves into the riverine silt. The plants rarely attain two meters in height and the trunks are distinctly swollen at the base. Retrophyllum minor seems to be a perfect tropical conifer for bonsai cultivation. The “needles” are very small and lanceolate and the trunk starts to swell even when juvenile plants are only a few years old. It can grow in water but also under normal nursery conditions in "dry" substrate. An incredible and extremely rare plant that we are very proud to offer.