Herself's Houston Garden

Conservation through cultivation

Japanese yew aka shrubby podocarpus ( Podoarpus Macrophyllus )




podacarpus in front of pine tree Dec 3rd '08

podacarpus in front of pine tree Dec 3rd

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.