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Cephalotaxus harringtonia

Pronunciation: Seff-uh-loe-tacks-sus hair-ring-toe-nee-uh
Family: Cephalotaxaceae (plum yew family)
Common Name: Japanese plum yew, harrington plum yew, cow-tail pine, plum yew
Plant Type:
  • trees, shrubs
Height to: 30'
Width to: 20'
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • 0 to -10ºF ZONE 6
  • 10 to 0ºF ZONE 7
  • 20 to 10ºF ZONE 8
  • 30 to 20ºF ZONE 9
Sun Exposure:
  • full shade
  • part sun
Bloom Description: The needles, in two rows, rise up from the twigs forming a v shaped trough, and are about 1. 5 in (3. 8 cm) long, sharp-pointed and slightly curved, like a sickle. On the underside of each leaf, on either side of the midrib, are two lighter colored glaucus bands which contain several rows of stomata (singular stoma). These are minute pores through which the leaves exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide. The seeds are about 1 in (2. 5 cm) long and look a lot like green olives. Most of the plum yews have many stems sprouting from the base and some send up suckers
Propagation: Seeds can take 2 years to germinate, and they require a pre-germination chilling period. Plant seeds in labeled pots and leave them outside through the winter and be patient! Plum yews also can be propagated from cuttings. Use tip cuttings of upward growing semi-ripe wood in summer or autumn. Cuttings from lateral shoots may grow into prostrate, creeping shrubs
Native to: Japanese plum yew is native to japan, korea and eastern china, where it grows in the forest understory.
Notes for Identification: Source: floridata - japanese plum yew has the potential to be a very useful landscape plant in the southern us. It is more tolerant of heat than the true yews (taxus), more interesting than most of the junipers, and more tolerant of shade than almost any needle evergreen. And deer don't eat it! Japanese plum yew tolerates severe pruning, and makes a good hedge in a semi-shady or even shady area. It is well suited for foundation plantings. The cultivar 'fastigiata' makes an interesting specimen that is sure to attract attention anywhere. The fleshy, plumlike fruits are a popular food in japan, where plum yews are cultivated for that purpose. Plum yews are dioecious and it is necessary to have at least one male plant for every five females to insure a good seed crop. Care: the plum yews are slow growers, some taking as long as 10 years to reach 3-4 ft (0. 9-1. 2 m) in height. They grow best in sandy, slightly acidic soils. They should be sheltered from strong winds. Japanese plum yew will thrive in a semi-shady to shady position in warm climates, but should have more sun in cooler regions. Regular water and well drained soil.
Located in: Trees, Shrubs
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