Podocarpus macrophyllus (Thunb.) D. Don

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Credits

Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Article from New Trees, Ross Bayton & John Grimshaw

Recommended citation
'Podocarpus macrophyllus' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/podocarpus/podocarpus-macrophyllus/). Accessed 2019-12-16.

Genus

Synonyms

  • Taxus macrophylla Thunb.
  • P. chinensis Hort.

Glossary

variety
(var.) Taxonomic rank (varietas) grouping variants of a species with relatively minor differentiation in a few characters but occurring as recognisable populations. Often loosely used for rare minor variants more usefully ranked as forms.

References

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Credits

Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Article from New Trees, Ross Bayton & John Grimshaw

Recommended citation
'Podocarpus macrophyllus' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/podocarpus/podocarpus-macrophyllus/). Accessed 2019-12-16.

Podocarpus macrophyllusis mainly represented in cultivation by the following variety:

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

There are examples of this species (probably all belonging to var. maki), at Nymans, Sussex; Bicton, Devon; Tregrehan, Cornwall; and Singleton Abbey, Swansea. They range in height from 11 to 17 ft and from 34 to 1 ft in girth (1979-83).

From New Trees

Podocarpus macrophyllus (Thunb.) Sweet


var. macrophyllus

Synonyms
P. forrestii Craib & W.W. Sm.

Podocarpus macrophyllus has long been known to Western horticulture in the form of var. maki from Japan and eastern China, and various selections from this (Bean 1976b, Krüssmann 1985b). The natural distribution of P. macrophyllus is obscured by its popularity in China as a garden or hedging tree, from which selections have also been made, and it is not entirely clear which populations can be regarded as native. Five varieties are recognised by Flora of China (Fu et al. 1999b): var. angusti folius, var. chingii (P. chingianus S.Y. Hu), var. macrophyllus, var. maki and var. piliramulus Z.X. Chen & Z.Q. Li. Farjon’s (2001) treatment of var. maki (Bean, Krüssmann: B282, S387, K258) as P. chinensis (Roxb.) Wall. var. chinensis is now conceded by him to be erroneous (Farjon 2007b). Of these five, two are not in cultivation: the columnar, broader-leaved var. chingii, and var. piliramulus with its darkly pubescent branchlets.

The nominate var. macrophyllus seems to be poorly known in horticulture, but is apparently represented in British collections by material labelled P. forrestii Craib & W.W. Sm. This taxon was sunk into P. macrophyllus by de Laubenfels (1985) and the decision has been upheld by Farjon (2001). Flora of China treats them separately, on the basis that P. forrestii is shrubby and has male strobili in threes, unlike the tree-forming P. macrophyllus which has male strobili in groups of three to five, but notes that P. forrestii may represent a juvenile form of P. macrophyllus. Podocarpus forrestii was named from material collected by George Forrest (F 4665) on ‘the eastern flank of the Tali range’ from a shrub of ‘2–5 feet’; no similar material has been seen since (P. Thomas, pers. comm. 2007). Seed labelled P. forrestii was introduced to the United Kingdom by the Chungtien, Lijiang & Dali Expedition of 1991 (under CLD 1565 and 1566B), and by the Alpine Garden Society Expedition to China, 1994 (under ACE 2543 A and B), all from the same group of cultivated trees up to 15 m tall growing in Dali, Yunnan (P. Thomas, pers. comm. 2007). Material from these collections is in cultivation under glass at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and in the open in Cornwall. Flora of China describes P. forrestii as a shrub of 3–5.5 m, with robust leafy branches. The leaves are shortly petiolate, elliptic to linear-elliptic, 2–9 × 0.6–1 cm, and matt (not glossy) green above. Reproductive parts are smaller than would be expected for P. macrophyllus. More study of wild and cultivated material is indicated. Krüssmann (1985b) notes that var. angustifolius is commonly planted in the United States. This has long narrow leaves, 5–12 × 0.3–0.6 cm, with acuminate or subacute apices, compared to the shorter, broader leaves (0.7–1 cm wide) of var. macrophyllus, and the shorter narrow leaves (1.7–7 × 0.5–0.7 cm) with mucronate, acute or obtuse apices of var. maki, but Farjon (2001) treats it as a synonym of var. macrophyllus.

 

var. maki Sieb.

Synonyms
P. japonicus Hort. Bogor. ex Sieb.
P. chinensis Sw

An erect-branched shrub or small tree up to 20 ft high. Leaves arranged spirally round the shoot, crowded, erect to spreading, linear, tapering at both ends, 2{1/2} to 3{1/2} in. long, {1/4} to {3/8} in. wide, obtuse or slightly acute at the apex, of firm, rather leathery texture, the midrib prominently raised above and below, yellowish green when young, becoming dark green above.Although long cultivated in Japan it is not native there, and even in China, whence it came originally, it is apparently known only as a garden plant. A similar podocarpus, found by Forrest in the Tali range of Yunnan, was at first identified as P. macrophyllus but later described as a new species – P. forrestii Craib & W. W. Sm. From P. macrophyllus var. maki it differs only in its dwarfer habit and rather broader leaves. It has apparently never been introduced to cultivation.P. macrophyllus var. maki was introduced to Britain early in the 19th century but has never been common in gardens, being of slow growth and not perfectly hardy. Two variegated forms of it were introduced from Japan by Fortune in 1861, and again by J. H. Veitch in 1892. In ‘Aureus’ the leaves are margined or striped with golden yellow, and ‘Argenteus’ has a similar variegation in white.Typical P. macrophyllus is a genuine native of Japan, where it ranges from the central part of the main island to Kyushu and the Ryukyu Islands; also of S. China. From the var. maki described above it differs in being a tree up to 50 ft high, with longer and sometimes broader leaves – up to 7 in. long and {1/2} in. wide. A variant with long and relatively narrow leaves has been named var. angustifolius Blume.

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