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Spreading Plum Yew Cephalotaxus harringtonia

Other Common Name(s):

This plant has high severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Cephalotaxus harringtonia is the best Taxus for the south as it tolerates the summer heat and humidity.  It prefers sandy, well-drained but moist soils and it tolerates shade better than most other needled evergreens.  Plants grown in zone 5 and lower should plant in a protected location as they are not reliably winter hardy.  It has a broad, shrubby habit with horizontal branches but can also be trained into a small tree. This plant prefers moist, well-drained soil but tolerates dry, sandy, or clay soil. Its texture is medium to fine, and this plant is normally wider than tall. Dioecious evergreen shrub 5-10' tall.

Family name previously Cephalotaxaceae

Quick ID Hints:

  • Gymnosperm, linear leaves
  • 2 white glaucous bands below
  • juvenile growth with leaves spirally arranged
  • adult growth with V-shaped leaf pattern on branch

FEMALE CONES fleshy, surrounding a seed, obovoid, olive to reddish-brown at maturity. 

MALE CONES clustered on last season's branches, globular. 

Many cultivars are dwarfs to small shrubs, vegetative with female cones commonly not seen. Male cones are surrounded by bracts & next season's twigs appear to grow through them. 

Prefers shade, moist well-drained soils; used as evergreen gymnosperm for massing, accenting, substitute for junipers; tolerant sun, drought when established. 

CULTIVARS: 'Fastigiata' is columnar, to 10' tall x 6-8' wide; branches strongly ascending; leaves juvenile, spirally arranged.

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Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#small tree#partial shade#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#shrub#slow growing#shade tolerant#low maintenance#clay soil#sandy soil#cpp#dry soil tolerant#high humidity#needled evergreen#deer resistant#fantz
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#small tree#partial shade#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#shrub#slow growing#shade tolerant#low maintenance#clay soil#sandy soil#cpp#dry soil tolerant#high humidity#needled evergreen#deer resistant#fantz
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Cephalotaxus
    Species:
    harringtonia
    Family:
    Taxaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Assam, China North-Central, China South-Central, China Southeast
    Wildlife Value:
    This plant is particularly resistant to damage by deer.
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    particularly resistant to deer damage, drought and heat tolerant; tolerates dry, sandy, or clay soil.
    Edibility:
    Red fleshy plum-like fruit around the green seed (pit) is okay to eat. Pits are poisonous.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 5 ft. 0 in. - 10 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 5 ft. 0 in. - 14 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Horizontal
    Multi-stemmed
    Rounded
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    12-24 feet
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Description:
    olive-like axillary fruit on female plants red, fleshy aril nearly surrounding the green seed
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Flower Description:
    Non-showy yellow flowers enclosed in a bract on male plants
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Needles
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Whorled
    Leaf Shape:
    Linear
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    0.5-1.2 in. feather-like needles, dark green leaves, linear with a sharp taper, spirally arranged in a v-shaped pattern. Lustrous underneath, holds color well in winter unless exposed to full sun and wind. Linear, spirally arranged (juvenile) to 2-ranked (adult) forming a V-shaped along branch, lower surface with 2 whitish glaucous bands.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Light Brown
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Heat
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    High
    Poison Symptoms:
    Nervousness, trembling, slow pulse, pupil dilation, difficult breathing, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, convulsions; may be fatal
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Alkaloid taxine
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Bark
    Leaves
    Seeds