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Woody > Podocarpus > Podocarpus macrophyllus > Podocarpus macrophyllus

Podocarpus macrophyllus

The Buddhist Pine

Origin:  Commonly found in Eastern Asia, Southern China and Japan.
            Mike's Opinion

this is Mike


The Podocarpus macrophyllus is a very beautiful and interesting plant to have in your landscape or home. This large shrub to small tree has the ability to retain its brilliant and unique foliage all year. The bright green middle inside of a long and flat leaf that fades into a dark green colour around the edges and the tip of the needle. The flowers of this amazing plant are small and located at the end of the branches. These flowers are recognizable because they are very similar to the leafs but instead they are yellow. The Buddhist pine is commonly used as a hedging or an accent plant, because these trees can grow in soil from neutral to acidic, with a broad range of soil types. This tree is a masterpiece to have in your garden or you home.

Michael Pascoe, NDP., ODH., CLT., MSc. (Plant Conservation)


Tree (evergreen), Shrub (evergreen)
USDA Hardiness Zone
7 - 11
Canadian Hardiness Zone
6b - 5a
RHS Hardiness Zone
Hc1 - H6
Temperature (°C)
- 20
Temperature (°F)
- 4
10 m - 20 m
3 - 4 m
Description and Growing Information
Flowering Period
General Description
The Podocarpus macrophyllus is a woody evergreen, that can range from a small tree to a large shrub. The flowers of the Podocarpus macrophyllus are located at the ends of the branches and are very similar to the leaves, with the only difference being yellow in colour. The leaves of this plant are a shiny and bright green around the middle of the leaf and fade into a dark green along the edges and tip. The leaves are flat, broad and needle like. The fruit of this tree when young is the colour of an olive and the mature fruit being a purplish-blue.
The Buddhist pine is most commonly used in the landscape as either a accent plant or as a hedge. Since this tree is an evergreen it has foliage all year round which remain the same, because of the leaves and colour of this tree has a beautiful texture and structure through the cold and rainy seasons. Also the fruit adds value to the branching of this wonderful tree.
The Buddhist pine, grows best in well-drained soil. It can grow in any type of soil and can handle acidic to neutral pH. The Buddhist pine likes full sunshine.
A narrow large shrub to small tree with dense spiralling leafs. Ranging from 10-20 m in height.
ID Characteristic
This Buddhist pine, has a flower which closely resembles there leaves which are bright green at the centre and fade into a dark green around the edges and tip. The leaves are long (15mm) and flat, like a needle. The Buddhist pine is a narrow tree.
This plant can easily develop chlorosis which is when the leaves begin to yellow. When planted outside it is tolerable to pollution, but if the Buddhist tree is inside it becomes prone to scale.
Woodlands and areas with heavy clay, and low to medium sand and loam contain, this mix of soil give the Podocarpus macrophyllus the well-drained soil which is ideal for type of plant. The pH can range from a neutral to acidic soil.
Bark/Stem Description
The bark of the Buddhist tree is exfoliating and a sienna colour. This colour helps show off all the rich and bright green of the trees foliage.
Flower/Leaf Bud Description
Small green buds that are round and short. The buds are normally found at the end of the branches where the flowers appear.
Leaf Description
The leaves of the podocarpus macrophyllus are a bright green in the middle and a darker green around the edges and tip of the long and thin leaf. The leafs are arranged in a spiral. These spirals are very dense and are leathery and shiny.
Flower Description
The flowers of the Podocarpus macrophyllus look like extensions of its leaf, with a yellow tone.
Fruit Description
The fruit of the Buddhist tree is edible and is commonly used in raw and cooked state, ranging from 12 - 15mm long and is a purplish-blue colour. The fruit is takes two years to ripen. In year one the fruit is cone like and has the colouring of an olive, while in the second year the fruit develops a rich purplish-blue colour. Once the fruit has turned purplish-blue it can be harvested and eaten raw or can be used in baked good (eg. Pie and cake).
Colour Description
The Buddhist tree keeps its stunning and vibrant colour all year round. This is due to the fact that this tree is an evergreen, the foliage remains to have long leaves with bright green centers and dark green edges and tips.
Texture Description
The Buddhist tree has dense foliage with a soft and shiny texture.
The Podocarpus macrophyllus is most commonly propagated though cuttings and seeds. In a natural setting once the birds eat the fruit the seeds within the birds stomach get digested and released. The seeds of the Buddhist pine are normally sown in a sandy-loam mix and then placed inside a warm greenhouse until sprouting occurs. Cuttings down on the terminal area of the stem shoots roughly around July to August is ideal.
Ethnobotanical Uses (Disclaimer)
Treatment of bodily worm diseases mainly in ringworm and for blood disorders are treated with the bark from the stem. The fruit is used in the treatment of lungs, heart, stomach and the kidneys which is essential for different tonic.
Chesshire.C(2010) A Practical guide to Japanese gardening.London: Lorenzo books. Konemann,( 2006 ) Botanic�s pocket � Trees & Shrubs. Australia : Random House Australia.