East African Yellowwood

Afrocarpus gracilior

Family: Podocarpaceae
Genus: Afrocarpus (af-roh-KAR-pus) (Info)
Species: gracilior (grass-IL-ee-or) (Info)
Synonym:Podocarpus gracilior
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Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

30-40 ft. (9-12 m)

over 40 ft. (12 m)


8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)


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

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

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Seed is poisonous if ingested

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:

Unknown - Tell us


Grown for foliage


Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:

Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing

Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds


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

Concord, California

Fallbrook, California

Long Beach, California

Norwalk, California

Pasadena, California

Perris, California

Reseda, California

Rocklin, California

San Rafael, California

Santa Cruz, California

Spring Valley, California

Sunnyvale, California

Ventura, California

Visalia, California

Bartow, Florida

Hobe Sound, Florida

Port Charlotte, Florida

Vero Beach, Florida

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Sep 8, 2015, sidcorsini from Fremont, CA wrote:

There are 7 of these that have grown to 70-90 feet in height in my neighbour's yard. They have raised the fence about 4 inches, cracked my pool decking, and daily, drop hundreds of needle-like leaves into my pool. My skimmers are always full, and the leaves pass through everything right to the canister filters. The leaves affect my ph as well. My usage of muriatic acid is absurd. The small dark fruits these trees produce will stain your plaster as well. These trees dont seem to have pests, but are horribly messy and should never be upwind of any pool.


On Jul 3, 2012, WmCanard from Sunnyvale, CA wrote:

A very poor choice anywhere near a pool. The invasive roots have lifted my pool deck (over $900 in damage) and the dense shade prevents the solar blanket from working. There is a constant stream of falling leaves. They roll up around the stiff mid-rib and have a sharp pointed end. They quickly clog the filter baskets. If one of the needles gets into the pool filter, it stabs right though the filter webs, requiring their replacement.

It may make a good shade tree, just keep it 50 feet down wind from a pool.


On Oct 4, 2010, peachesfinnigan from Soquel, CA wrote:

Does anyone know if this is poisonous form dogs?


On Jul 19, 2009, flaflwrgrl from North Central , FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

It is more often seen as a hedge here & it does make a thick, beautiful hedge. However, it is grown into a tree form in some yards (including mine). They are indeed beautiful. Fast growing they can become thick & require a pruner who knows their stuff. A neighbor has 2 in the front yard which are quite old---maybe 35 years old---in multitrunked tree form. They are breathtaking! They withstood hurricanes Frances, Jean, and Wilma like champions. Once established as tree form or hedge they require little in the way of water. Do not seem to be bothered by pests or disease. My cardinals & painted buntings love to hide in them & eat from the feeders hanging on them. I have succesfully propagated this from cuttings. Green cuttings stuck into moist pearlite. It took about 10 or 12 weeks before the... read more


On Apr 7, 2005, rjewyo from Ventura, CA wrote:

Southern Calif.
We have 12 ( 10ft ) of these planted (for 7 months) in 4'x4' soil areas within a long cemented area on the side of our house. They were gorgerous till the last rain! We've had a great deal of rain over the past months. The plants/leaves are now brown @ the top...look dead...the soil (clay with amendment) is still wet! I cut back one of them and took it to the garden store. Was told...could be root rot! What do you think? Should I fertize now that I've cut them back about 8-10 inches? Or is it the water, and do they need to just dry out?


On Jan 21, 2005, aapplegate4 from Redlands, CA wrote:

Does any one know is this tree is poison to dogs? Its cousin the podocarpus macrophyllus is very much so. I need to know if the Podocarpus gracilior is. thanks


On Apr 28, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

East AFrican native that is one of the most commonly planted landscape trees in southern California (literally everywhere you look almost, you will see this tree in either someone's yard or in a business landscaping setting). It grows up to 60' tall and has a wonderful soft look to the foliage that makes it look almost like green clouds on a stem. The leaves a small and lime green to dark green, thin, lancelote and about 1" or so long and very tightly spaced. These trees are commonly used as hedges, screens, specimen trees, accents... they are very easy to grow, moderately fast growers and don't need excessive water... older trees are pretty drought tolerant and rarely if ever need to be watered.


On Apr 30, 2003, vicque from Coronado, CA wrote:

This is a beautiful tree. Ours is about 40 feet high and probably 50 years old. However, we live on the coast, right next to the beach in Southern CA, and this tree should not have been planted here. The reason is that it does not tolerate salt, either salt spray or brackish groundwater (which we have). Because of this intolerance, the tree's roots remain shallow instead of going down into the groundwater, and they suck up all the water that I put on every other plant in my garden. So my podocarpus tree is gorgeous, but the rest of the garden plants are a bit thin.

My neighbors ask me about every year if I am planning to cut it down any time soon. The reason for this is that the tree sheds leaves year round. I don't mind the leaf shed because the leaves are small (abo... read more


On Aug 2, 2002, Ulrich from Manhattan Beach, CA (Zone 11) wrote:

P. macrophylus is very similar.