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shrub

Japanese Plum Yew

Cephalotaxus harringtonia

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Japanese Plum Yew (Cephalotaxus harringtonia) at Johnson Brothers Garden Market

Japanese Plum Yew foliage

Japanese Plum Yew foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  15 feet

Spread:  10 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade  full shade 

Hardiness Zone:  5b

Other Names:  Cow's Tail Pine

Description:

A very useful large landscape shrub that is very heat tolerant, more interesting than most junipers, will take more shade than almost any needled evergreen; tolerates severe pruning and makes a great hedge in a shady area; good for foundation planting

Ornamental Features

Japanese Plum Yew has attractive bluish-green foliage which emerges light green in spring. The needles are highly ornamental and remain bluish-green throughout the winter. Neither the flowers nor the fruit are ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Japanese Plum Yew is a multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with an upright spreading habit of growth. It lends an extremely fine and delicate texture to the landscape composition which can make it a great accent feature on this basis alone.

This is a relatively low maintenance shrub, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Japanese Plum Yew is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • Hedges/Screening
  • General Garden Use

Planting & Growing

Japanese Plum Yew will grow to be about 15 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 10 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 1 foot from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 70 years or more.

This shrub performs well in both full sun and full shade. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This species is not originally from North America.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Accent  Massing  Screening  Garden 
Applications
Foliage Color  Texture  Winter Value 
Ornamental Features