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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Podocarpus henkelii - Long Leafed Yellowwood

The long leaved yellowood is an evergreen conifer from South Africa. I love this tree, its tight habit and drooping foliage makes it really different than most trees around here. And I like weeping conifers. Reportedly growing 75' tall in it's native habit I have not seen any larger than 25 feet. Usually they are narrowly columnar to pyramidal and quite dense, about 6-8' wide if 15' tall. Several at the Strybing Arboretum are much wider than the ones we seem to have here. There was a planting of five in pots in Aptos several years ago that was beautiful but the trees were pulled in favor of something else.

This is one of many at SF arboretum showing a very different habit that we I see in Santa Cruz.

Leaves evergreen, spiraly arranged or looking opposite, simple, drooping, shiny dark green, 3.5 - 7"  long, 1/2" wide, slightly curved, oblong to lanceolate, while the tip is narrow and drawn out. Usually clustered at the tips of the branches.

Terminal bud with nicely imbricate scales. Stems pale green, shallowly grooved, thin and generally curving upwards.

Plants dioecious, 
female reproductive structure borne along the stem, shows red in the early spring, giving rise to a pointy green cone, fleshy at maturity, 1" looking somewhat like an olive. 

Bark is shaggy tan to gray.

Misidentification: Maybe another Podocarpus, but I hope not. 

538 Bayview Drive

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