Magazine article Sunset

Here Comes Another Podocarpus. It's a Handsome Small Tree

Magazine article Sunset

Here Comes Another Podocarpus. It's a Handsome Small Tree

Article excerpt

A little-known podocarpus is gaining ground in California gardens. It's called the long-leafed yellow-wood (Podocarpus henkelii).

While the familiar fern pine (P. gracilior) is soft and willowy, and the yew pine (P. macrophyllus) is stiff and upright, P. henkelii has a form that falls somewhere in between. It grows naturally into an irregular column with erect, upward-reaching branches draped with long, pendulous foliage. The leaves have a blue-green color; in spring, coppery-pink new shoots tip the branches.

This podocarpus grows at a moderately slow rate of about a foot a year to 20 to 30 feet high (eventually to 40 feet or more), with a spread of about 8 to 15 feet. Plants stay quite uniform with little staking or pruning, though you may need to clip erratic shoots once or twice year.

Although plants are more widely sold in

Southern California, P. henkelii grows well in most low-elevation areas of the state. Along the coast, plant in sun or shade, water well, and provide protection from strong winds. …

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