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Genus Cephalotaxus (Plum yew)

Cephalotaxus Cephalotaxus harringtonii 'Prostrata' Photo/Illustration: Michelle Gervais
sef-ah-lo-TAKS-us Common Name: Plum yew
The genus Cephalotaxus includes evergreen, coniferous shrubs and small trees grown for foliage that resembles yews. Female plants also have small, plum-like fruit when planted near a male pollinator. Plum yews are especially useful because they grow in shade. Plant as hedging, in foundation plantings, or as specimens.
Noteworthy characteristics: Evergreen. Grows well in shade. Some are distasteful to deer.                      
Care: Choose a sheltered site with fertile, moist but well-drained soil in partial shade. They can take full sun in cool, damp areas.
Propagation: Start seeds in a cold frame in fall or spring (after stratifying them). Or, take greenwood or semi-ripe cuttings of terminal shoots in summer or fall.
Problems: Infrequent.

Species, varieties and cultivars for genus Cephalotaxus

Cephalotaxus harringtonia 'Korean Gold' Cephalotaxus harringtonia 'Korean Gold'
(Plum yew)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This slow-growing dwarf conifer has a wide, rounded crown and narrowly furrowed, partially peeling bark. Three-inch-long needles emerge tipped in gold before aging to green in winter.

Cephalotaxus harringtonii 'Prostrata' Cephalotaxus harringtonii 'Prostrata'
(Plum yew)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This slow-growing dwarf conifer has a wide, rounded crown and narrowly furrowed, partially peeling bark. Needles, 1 to 1.5 inches long, are arranged on V-shaped ranks on each shoot.