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Chinese Podocarpus Podocarpus macrophyllus var. maki

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
pod-oh-KAR-pus mak-roh-FIL-us var maw-KEE
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Chinese podocarpus is a densely compact, broadleaf evergreen shrub or narrow, conical tree in the podocarpus family (Podocarpaceae). It is hardy in zones 7 to 11 and grows well in coastal North Carolina. The plant is native from southern China to northern Myanmar, Taiwan, south central and southern Japan. The genus name is derived from the Greek words pous for foot and karpos for fruit. The epithet, macrophyllus, means “large leaf.”

This plant prefers rich, slightly acidic, moist, well-drained, fertile soils and full sun to partial shade. The plant is tolerant of shade but intolerant of wet soils. It likes medium relative humidity and has a slow growth rate. Although the tree form of this plant can grow up to 50 feet, the ‘Maki’ cultivar grows 8 to 10 feet tall. Allow 3 to 6 feet for planting. This plant is salt tolerant, drought tolerant and displays some tolerance to heat. It is also resistant to deer.

The foliage is pleasantly fragrant when crushed. Although it is non-flowering, the pollen cones are yellowish and elongated, the seeds are light blue and fleshy, borne on a fleshy, red stalk. While these fleshy red stalks are edible, children may be tempted to eat the round seeds which resemble fruits and are poisonous. 

In colder regions, Chinese podocarpus can be used as a container plant to be brought in from the outdoors during the winter months. It adapts well to shearing so that it is sometimes used in topiary design. Its tolerance for low light allows for good growth in brightly lit rooms as a houseplant. You may see this plant in commercial buildings such as offices or shopping malls, growing under skylights. Where it is winter hardy, it can be grown as a large hedge or screen. This plant can also be grown as a specimen and background plant. 

Quick ID Hints:

  • Densely compact shrub with alternate, spiral, linear leaves.
  • Midrib of flattened leaves raised on both sides.
  • Evergreen gymnosperm.

Insects, Diseases and Other Plant Problems: Indoor plants may develop scale. Chlorosis (yellowing of the leaves) occurs in alkaline soils.

More information on Podocarpus macrophyllus.

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Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#houseplant#drought tolerant#conifer#salt tolerant#deer resistant#hedge#screen
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#houseplant#drought tolerant#conifer#salt tolerant#deer resistant#hedge#screen
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Podocarpus
    Species:
    macrophyllus
    Family:
    Podocarpaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    S. China to N. Myanmar, Taiwan, S. Central & S. Japan
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Particularly resistant to damage by deer. This plant is highly salt tolerant and drought tolerant.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 8 ft. 0 in. - 10 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 3 ft. 0 in. - 5 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Houseplant
    Perennial
    Poisonous
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Columnar
    Erect
    Oval
    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
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b, 11a, 11b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Blue
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    seed purple-blue, fleshy, with red, enlarged stalk
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Catkin
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    1 to 1.5 in. male catkin-like flowers occur in clusters
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leathery
    Waxy
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Long-lasting
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Other/more complex
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    0.5 to 2.7 in. leaves are alternate, simple, congested and spirally arranged, broad linear-lanceolate, flattened, bluntly acute, yew-like, leathery, waxy, lustrous, narrow, dark green in color and with a lighter midrib that is distinct on both surfaces. Leaves are arranged in dense spirals. They are fragrant when bruised.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Houseplants
    Small Space
    Landscape Theme:
    Asian Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Garden for the Blind
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Hedge
    Screen/Privacy
    Specimen
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Heat
    Salt
    Problems:
    Poisonous to Humans
    Problem for Children
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Unidentified
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Seeds