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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