Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Japanese Plum Yew, Harrington Plum Yew, Cow-Tail Pine
Cephalotaxus harringtonia

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

Synonym:Cephalotaxus pedunculata
Synonym:Taxus harringtonia

2 members have or want this plant for trade.

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20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

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:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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3 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive coriaceous On Dec 26, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

A handsome evergreen shrub/small tree that looks much like a yew (Taxus). It is dramatically more heat tolerant than yew, and a good substitute for it in the eastern US south of Z7b, where yews languish. It has a graceful natural habit, but it's also amenable to being pruned or sheared for formal hedges. It grows very slowly.

This is also a good substitute for yew in the north (to Z6a/5b) where deer browsing is a problem---unlike yews, plum-yews are virtually deer-proof.

There are many different forms and cultivars, some rigidly upright, some wide-spreading groundcovers, some shrubs reaching 5-10', a few as much as 25' tall.

Both "fruit" and seeds are edible and traditionally eaten in Japan. You need both a female plant and a male to get fruit set. Wind-pollinated.

In the south, this performs better in shade.

For more info: []

Positive JaxFlaGardener On Jun 28, 2007, JaxFlaGardener from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

This plant grows at the Jacksonville (Florida) Zoo & Gardens (borderline Zone 8b/9a). It's zig-zag sharp edged foliage reminds me very much of the rediscovered Australian Wollemi Pine (Wollemia nobilis)

It is apparently very slow growing. In the zoo gardens, it is not much more than about 15 inches high after several years.


Positive angelam On Apr 9, 2004, angelam from melbourne
Australia wrote:

I've seen this plant growing in a coastal garden,Zone 10. The owner said it was unaffected by the conditions. It was very slow growing, about 3ft in 8 years and was impressive rather than attractive,it looked a very dark green with a very rigid and spiky growth habit.


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

Brandon, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Snellville, Georgia
Roslindale, Massachusetts
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Pawleys Island, South Carolina

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