Gardening Magazine

Podocarpus Macrophyllus

By Davis Landscape Architecture @DavisLandArch

Podocarpus macrophyllus (01/04/2015, Tokyo, Japan)

Podocarpus macrophyllus (01/04/2015, Tokyo, Japan)

Position: Full sun to light shade

Flowering period: Spring

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 20m

Eventual Spread: 20m

Hardiness: 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b, 11

Family: Podocarpaceae

Podocarpus macrophyllus is an evergreen tree with an irregular, open habit. Its leathery dark green leaves are lanceolate with entire margins, up to 12cm long and 1cm broad. Its trunk may achieve a diameter of up to 60cm. Its grey/ brown bark is fibrous and peels of in vertical strips. Its flowers are in the form of pollen cones (which are up to 3cm long) and female cones. Its red/ purple fruit are berry like cones and up to 2cm long.

Podocarpus macrophyllus Leaf (01/04/2015, Tokyo, Japan)

Podocarpus macrophyllus Leaf (01/04/2015, Tokyo, Japan)

Podocarpus macrophyllus, commonly known as Kusamaki, Inumaki, Buddhist Pine or Fern Pine, is native to south Japan and south east China. In its native habitat it grows in open thickets.

The etymological root of the binomial name Podocarpus is derived from the Greek podos meaning ‘foot’ and and carpos meaning ‘seed’. Macrophyllus is derived from the Latin macro term meaning ‘large’ and phyllus meaning ‘leaf’.

The landscape architect may find Podocarpus macrophyllus useful as an evergreen tree with attractive form and branch structure. It may be used as a street tree. It may also be trained as evergreen hedge. Once established this tree is drought tolerant.

Podocarpus macrophyllus Bark (01/04/2015, Tokyo, Japan)

Podocarpus macrophyllus Bark (01/04/2015, Tokyo, Japan)

Ecologically, Podocarpus macrophyllus fruit are attractive to birds.

Podocarpus macrophyllus prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil.

Podocarpus macrophyllus requires little maintenance. If maintaining as a hedge hand pruning (as opposed to hedge trimmer) is advised.


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