Podocarpus macrophyllus - Buddhist Pine


  • A beautiful, small (in Europe) conifer tree from Japan. It has long, falcate, leathery, evergreen leaves which have a pointed end and a distinct midrib. A very ornamental tree and very unusual in Europe, even to have one is a joy. Some species have a weeping foliage (Podocarpus henkelii on the last image), it grows slowly but quite tough and hardy, P macrophyllus is the northernmost species. At maturity, the scales become soft, swollen, brightly coloured (red to purple) and fleshy. The scales are eaten by animals which then disperse the seeds in their droppings. The plant is dioecious, therefore one would need both a male and female plant to produce fruit. The fleshy aril is edible, it tastes like blueberry and grape together. ALL other parts of the plant are toxic. It may reach 15m in height in China and Japan but in Europe, it grows much smaller to maturity. We have lovely, young trees on offer (their sex is not known since they are grown from seed).

  • Other common names: Fern Pine, Yew Plum Pine

  • Native to: China and Japan

  • Family: Podocarpaceae (Plum Pine Family)

  • Habit (UK conditions): small tree

  • Growth rate: slow

  • Typical size in 10 years: 3m x 1m

  • Main value: lush foliage, fruits

  • Flower colour: yellow

  • Flowering period: early Spring

  • Autumn coloration: - (evergreen)

  • Preferences: moist yet well drained soil, full sun of half shade

  • Hardiness: hardy in the UK and most of Europe



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