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Japanese Plum Yew, Harrington Plum Yew, Cow-Tail Pine
Cephalotaxus harringtonia 'Prostrata'

Family: Cephalotaxaceae
Genus: Cephalotaxus (sef-uh-loh-TAKS-us) (Info)
Species: harringtonia (har-ring-TOH-nee-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Prostrata





24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)


USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:

Partial to Full Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:



Grown for foliage


Other details:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

This plant is resistant to deer

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By grafting

Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Phenix City, Alabama

Pinson, Alabama

Scottsboro, Alabama

Atlanta, Georgia

Lawrenceville, Georgia

Lula, Georgia

Lexington, Massachusetts

Millbrook, New York

Raleigh, North Carolina (2 reports)

Springboro, Ohio

Conway, South Carolina

Florence, South Carolina

Greenville, South Carolina

Oakton, Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 2, 2015, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

A needled evergreen that resembles yew, but is much more heat tolerant, and will grow in the southeastern US where yew won't.

Unlike yew, this is highly deer resistant.

for more info: []


On Apr 21, 2012, spreading_yew from Scottsboro, AL wrote:

Can the spreading plum yew be planted in full sun in Alabama? I love this plant and the beautiful soft foliage but don't want to plant in sun if it needs mostly shade. Would appreciate any advice.


On Jun 29, 2008, cedar18 from Lula, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

A wonderful foundation planting for the shade. Have had several on the north side of our house for 10 years. They stay healthy and beautiful. They do overgrow the measly 4' I allotted them, so I have to trim them back, but it's easy. When the new growth is on, it's a beautiful light green that looks great with yellow hostas like August Moon. Found them to be 100% deer resistant.


On May 5, 2007, baroque from South Dayton, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

This plant has thrived in south Dayton. I have been growing it for over three years now and there has not ever been any winter damage in my zone, 6a. I suggest anyone in a similar zone to try growing this if one wants an exotic conifer.