Cephalotaxus koreana / Korean plum-yew

Cephalotaxus koreana, as described in 1930 by Takenoshin Nakai (1882–1952), in Botanical Magazine, Tokyo vol. 44 is commonly known as Korean plum-yew; as well as 犬榧 土真子 (Inu-gaya) in the Japanese language and as 개비자나무 (gaebijanamu) in Korean.

The molecular analysis of Hao et al. ( Interspecific relationships and origins of Taxaceae and Cephalotaxaceae revealed by partitioned Bayesian analyses of chloroplast and nuclear DNA sequences; Plant Systematics and Evolution 276:89-104; ©2008) suggests that the clade C. harringtonia - C. koreana - C. wilsoniana is monophyletic, and that the latter two species could be treated as varieties of C. harringtonia.

Description. Korean plum-yew is an upright, slow-growing evergreen coniferous species of shrub which grows to mature heights of 10 feet (3 m) tall, with dense branching and black-green needles measuring circa 2 inches (5 cm) long and 0.16 inch (4 mm) wide.

Distribution. This species is native to Japan — the islands of Honshu and Hokkaido; as well as North and South Korea; and northeastern China, where it can be found growing at low to middle elevations.

Hardy to USDA Zone 6 — cold hardiness limit between -10° and 0°F (-23.2° and -17.8°C).

Attribution from: Kim E. Tripp; Cephalotaxus: the plum yews; ©1995. Arnoldia 55(1): 24-39.

Cephalotaxus koreana at the Arnold Arboretum, Boston, Massachusetts.
Photo by John Waskiewicz
Cephalotaxus koreana at the Arnold Arboretum, Boston, Massachusetts. Foliage and cone detail.
Photo by John Waskiewicz
Cephalotaxus koreana at the Arnold Arboretum, Boston, Massachusetts. Spring bloom.
Photo by John Waskiewicz
Cephalotaxus koreana at the Arnold Arboretum, Boston, Massachusetts. Immature cones.
Photo by John Waskiewicz
Cephalotaxus koreana at the Arnold Arboretum, Boston, Massachusetts. Foliage detail.
Photo by John Waskiewicz
Cephalotaxus koreana at the Arnold Arboretum, Boston, Massachusetts. Mature seed cones.
Photo by John Waskiewicz

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