Cephalotaxus harringtonii 'Duke Gardens' / Duke Gardens Japanese plum-yew

Cephalotaxus harringtonia 'Duke Gardens' is a dense, low, spreading, shrub form of Japanese plum-yew that retains its deep green foliage throughout year; flattened leaves grow two-ranked on the branches when planted in shade, as if waiting for any ray of sunshine they can get! In full sun it can afford the luxury of being whorled on the branches, so has a much fuller appearance; somewhat similar in appearance to English Yew with longer, more coarse, flat needles. Its horizontal branchlets are slightly ascending. After 10 years, one can expect a mature specimen to reach dimensions of 4 feet (1.3 m) tall and 6 feet (2 m) wide, a rate of growth of 4 to 6 inches (10 - 15 cm) per year.

This cultivar originated as a seedling selected in 1958 by R.D. Fillmore at the Sarah P. Duke Gardens, Durham, North Carolina, USA.

Cephalotaxus harringtonia 'Duke Gardens' growing in USDA Zone 5b, northwestern Pennsylvania, with some winter protection. This plant should be easily hardy in Zone 6
Photo by William Dunagin
Cephalotaxus harringtonii 'Duke Gardens' — a specimen at the Morris Arboretum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (USDA Zone 7a), grown from a cutting from the US National Arboretum; photo from 2020.
Photo by Katherine Wagner-Reiss
Cephalotaxus harringtonii 'Duke Gardens' — a closeup of foliage detail.
Photo by Katherine Wagner-Reiss

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