Japanese yew aka shrubby podocarpus ( Podoarpus Macrophyllus )

This is one of the plants that all the locals knew all about so it wasn’t in any of my plant books. It took a long time to id. Then it took me another 6 months to locate one. This one came from Mercer’s spring plant sale.

Podacarpus is an ever green shrub that will reach 8′ to 10′ tall according to all my books. Yet I’ve seen several around The Woodlands that are about 15′- 20′ tall. What is neat is that the spread will only be about 2′ so it makes a cool accent plant. Once it settles in it will become much denser and fuller. I just planted it this past March and this photo is from early June.

Podacarpus wants well drained soil, and full sun to light shade, shelter from wind.

Local temperature in Houston is not a problem, summer heat and winter freezes do not trouble it.

This species of podocarpus is from Asia, they usually grow alone in forests with high rainfall and warm temperatures. The wood is prized and in many places they are a threatened species. Podocarpus species can be found in much of the world. The berries are loved by birds, not so much by gardeners, they can be messy.

If you want a plant to create a topiary this is an excellent choice.

It looks very much like a pine tree with thick needles when it fills out.

Considered to be a deer resistant plant.

Propagate by cuttings or by seed.

Heavy pollinator, not recommended for allergy sufferers.

Note: Has mostly survived the extreme heat and drought of summer 2011, but started wilting the first week of Sept.
Note: Plant turned brown and died July 2012 – no idea of the cause.

2 thoughts on “Japanese yew aka shrubby podocarpus ( Podoarpus Macrophyllus )

  1. I’ve never had one of these, but I’ve heard they are one of the very few plants that grow well enough to be hedged in full shade. I once heard someone discribe this plant as boring. I think I could probably find ways to make it interesting if I tried. Maybe I will one of these days.

  2. I think they are wonderful. The photo doesn’t do it justice. A few years from now it should look really nice.

    I have seen several around town that are planted in full shade and they seem to do well in it.

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