Many tropical trees, especially those that grow in swamps, have plank buttresses at the base of their trunks. These thin triangular flanges extend up the trunk and along the roots. In New Zealand, the only tree that forms plank buttresses is the forest giant pukatea (Laurelia novae-zelandiae). It grows to 40 metres in swamp forest and towers above the canopy trees. The buttresses help support its tall trunk and heavy crown.
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New Zealand Plant Conservation Network
Photograph by Jeremy Rolfe
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