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Duke Gardens Yew Cephalotaxus harringtonia 'Duke Gardens'

Phonetic Spelling
sef-ah-loh-TAKS-us har-ring-TOH-nee-ah
Description

Japanese plum yew is an evergreen, needled shrub or small tree in the Taxaceae (yew) family. The cultivar 'Duke Gardens' was discovered at Duke Gardens in Durham, North Carolina and is noted for its compactness. Its name is derived from the Greek words kephale and taxus meaning 'head' and 'yew' respectively. The specific epithet harringtonia was given in recognition of the Earl of Harrington who became an early adopter and enthusiast of the species in the early 19th century.

Ideal for the southeastern United States, as it tolerates both the summer heat and humidity unlike other yews, 'Duke Gardens' has a dense spreading mounding habit.  

This plant prefers moist, well-drained soil but tolerates dry, sandy, or clay soil. Plant it in full sun if you have cool summers; otherwise, it needs partial shade and tolerates shade better than most other needled evergreens. 

Once established this plant is drought tolerant and deer resistant. 'Duke Gardens' grows slowly to 2 to 4 feet tall and wide.

Japanese plum yew works well in small spaces, a woodland or shade garden as an accent or planted in mass along a border. Its fragrant glossy needles provide year-round interest and makes an interesting change in the landscape from the typical junipers.  

Quick ID Hints:

  • Gymnosperm, linear leaves
  • Two white, glaucous bands on underside
  • Juvenile growth has leaves spirally arranged
  • Adult growth has a V-shaped leaf pattern on branch

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  No significant problems.


 

More information on Cephalotaxus harringtonia.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#small spaces#shrub#slow growing#shade shrub#shade garden#accent plant#mass planting#year-round interest#deer resistant#dioecious#exotic looking#border planting#glossy#fragrant needles#compact habit#fruits#woodland garden#dense growth
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#small spaces#shrub#slow growing#shade shrub#shade garden#accent plant#mass planting#year-round interest#deer resistant#dioecious#exotic looking#border planting#glossy#fragrant needles#compact habit#fruits#woodland garden#dense growth
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Cephalotaxus
    Species:
    harringtonia
    Family:
    Taxaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Deer browsing
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 2 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Oval
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    3 feet-6 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a
  • Flowers:
    Flower Description:
    Male and female flowers on separate plants.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Leaf Type:
    Needles
    Leaf Shape:
    Linear
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    1-2.5 in. glossy, dark green leaves that emerge light green. Aromatic needles.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Small Space
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Edible Garden
    Shade Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Mass Planting
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought