Podocarpus latifolius

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Podocarpus latifolius
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Podocarpus latifolius in the Drakensberg
Podocarpus latifolius in the Drakensberg
Plant Info
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Scientific classification
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Kingdom: Plantae
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Division: Pinophyta
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Class: Pinopsida
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Order: Pinales
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Family: Podocarpaceae
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Genus: Podocarpus
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Species: P. latifolius
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Binomial name
Podocarpus latifolius
(Thunb.) R.Br. ex Mirb.
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Type Species

Podocarpus latifolius (Broad-leaved Yellowwood or Real Yellowwood) is a large evergreen tree up to 35 m high and 3 m trunk diameter, in the conifer family Podocarpaceae; it is the type species of the genus Podocarpus.

It is native to the moister southern and eastern areas of South Africa, from coastal Western Cape Province east to KwaZulu-Natal Province and north to eastern Limpopo Province. The Real Yellowwood has been declared the national tree of South Africa.

The leaves are strap-shaped, 25–40 mm long on mature trees, larger, to 100 mm long, on vigorous young trees, and 6–12 mm broad, with a bluntly pointed tip. The cones are berry-like, with a single (rarely two) 7–11 mm seed apical on an 8–14 mm pink-purple aril; the aril is edible and sweet. The male (pollen) cones are 10–30 mm long.

It is a slow-growing tree. The wood is hard, similar to yew wood, used for furniture, panelling, etc. Due to past over-exploitation, little is now cut.


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