Podocarpus latifolius is a very hardy, evergreen, large, beautifully-shaped tree. It is slow growing, but makes an outstanding shade or specimen tree for bigger gardens. The yellowish to greyish-brown bark flakes off in thin, vertical strips. It has beautiful dark-green leaves that are carried more or less horizontally.
The sweet, edible, fleshy, reddish-purple, female cones carry 1 or 2 seeds that ripen from green to pink to red during December and February. Male and female cones are on separate trees.
It produces beautiful yellow timber which is much sought after for furniture making. This is the national tree of South Africa. It can grow in a container for many years and is thus useful for smaller gardens as well. As a Christmas tree, it is hard to beat.
It needs to be in a cool, shady to semi-shade position in well-composted soil to ensure optimum growth, although it will grow in sun if kept moist. Always mulch the soil around the trees as this keeps the roots cool.
Size: 20 to 30m