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Useful Temperate Plants

Cephalotaxus griffithii

Hook.f.

Taxaceae


The genus Cephalotaxus is a very difficult one taxonomically since most species are very similar and the key differences that distinguish them generally intergrade morphologically. Over 70 names have been published, though modern treatments usually restrict the genus to between 6 - 8 species. It can be difficult to know how to identify individual plants, with differences of opinion coming from decisions of taxonomists in different countries. We are following the treatment in Lang, X.D., Su, J.R., Lu, S.G. & Zhang, Z.J. (2013). A taxonomic revision of the genus Cephalotaxus (Taxaceae). Phytotaxa 84: 1-24.[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

+ Synonyms

Cephalotaxus fortunei lanceolata (K.M.Feng ex W.C.Cheng, L.K.Fu & C.Y.Cheng) Silba

Cephalotaxus lanceolata K.M.Feng ex W.C.Cheng, L.K.Fu & C.Y.Cheng

Cephalotaxus talonensis W.C.Cheng & K.M.Feng ex S.G.Lu & X.D.Lang

Common Name: Gongshan Plum Yew

No Image.

General Information

Cephalotaxus griffithii is a small to medium-sized evergreen tree that can grow up to 20 metres tall. The bole can be up to 40cm in diameter[
1193
Title
A taxonomic revision of the genus Cephalotaxus (Taxaceae)
Publication
Phytotaxa 84 (1); 1-24
Author
Xue-Dong Lang; Jian-Rong Su; Shu-Gang Lu & Zhi-Jun Zhang
Website
http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/phytotaxa.84.1.1
Publisher
Magnolia Press
Year
2013
ISBN
1179-3163
Description
A review of the genus Cephalotaxus. It can be downloaded from the Internet
].
The tree is harvested from the wild for local use of its wood, and possibly also as a medicine. It is sometimes grown as an ornamental, where it can be used as a hedge.
This species has been exploited for timber and firewood and the larger trees have mostly been logged. Large-scale logging is now banned. The habitat has also been reduced due to forest clearance for expanding agricultural areas. The plant is classified as 'Endangered' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2013)[
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

66
Title
From Agar to Zenery.
Publication
 
Author
Freethy. R.
Publisher
The Crowood Press
Year
1985
ISBN
0-946284-51-2
Description
Very readable, giving details on plant uses based on the authors own experiences.
,
1193
Title
A taxonomic revision of the genus Cephalotaxus (Taxaceae)
Publication
Phytotaxa 84 (1); 1-24
Author
Xue-Dong Lang; Jian-Rong Su; Shu-Gang Lu & Zhi-Jun Zhang
Website
http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/phytotaxa.84.1.1
Publisher
Magnolia Press
Year
2013
ISBN
1179-3163
Description
A review of the genus Cephalotaxus. It can be downloaded from the Internet

Range

E. Asia - southern China, northeast India, Myanmar

Habitat

An understorey shrub in woodlands[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Scattered in broad-leaved forests; at elevations around 1,900 metres[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
,
1193
Title
A taxonomic revision of the genus Cephalotaxus (Taxaceae)
Publication
Phytotaxa 84 (1); 1-24
Author
Xue-Dong Lang; Jian-Rong Su; Shu-Gang Lu & Zhi-Jun Zhang
Website
http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/phytotaxa.84.1.1
Publisher
Magnolia Press
Year
2013
ISBN
1179-3163
Description
A review of the genus Cephalotaxus. It can be downloaded from the Internet
].

Properties

Conservation StatusEndangered
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitEvergreen Tree
Height15.00 m
PollinatorsWind
Self-fertileNo
Cultivation StatusOrnamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

Cephalotaxus griffithii is not hardy in the colder areas of the temperate zone, when dormant it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. The young growth in spring, even on mature plants, is frost-tender and so it is best to grow the plants in a position sheltered from the early morning sun[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].
Prefers a moist well-drained sandy soil but succeeds in most soils though it dislikes dry gravelly or chalky soils[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Prefers a position in semi-shade but tolerates full shade[
11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
,
81
Title
Conifers.
Publication
 
Author
Rushforth. K.
Publisher
Christopher Helm
Year
1987
ISBN
0-7470-2801-X
Description
Deals with conifers that can be grown outdoors in Britain. Good notes on cultivation and a few bits about plant uses.
] and it also succeeds but does not usually thrive in full sun[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. It grows very well in the mild wet coastal region of W. Scotland where it succeeds even in full sun[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Requires a humid sheltered site[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
], strongly disliking very exposed positions[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
].
Plants are dioecious, but female plants sometimes produce fruits and infertile seeds in the absence of any male plants[
11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
]. However, at least one male plant for every five females should be grown if you are growing the plants for fruit and seed. Plants have also been known to change sex[
81
Title
Conifers.
Publication
 
Author
Rushforth. K.
Publisher
Christopher Helm
Year
1987
ISBN
0-7470-2801-X
Description
Deals with conifers that can be grown outdoors in Britain. Good notes on cultivation and a few bits about plant uses.
].
Male cones are produced in the axils of the previous year's leaves, whilst female cones are borne at the base of branchlets[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].

Edible Uses

We have no details for this species but it is closely related to Cephalotaxus fortunei and so it is quite likely to have edible seed and fruit[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
]. The fruit is up to 50mm long and 20mm wide with a single seed 35 - 45mm long[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
1193
Title
A taxonomic revision of the genus Cephalotaxus (Taxaceae)
Publication
Phytotaxa 84 (1); 1-24
Author
Xue-Dong Lang; Jian-Rong Su; Shu-Gang Lu & Zhi-Jun Zhang
Website
http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/phytotaxa.84.1.1
Publisher
Magnolia Press
Year
2013
ISBN
1179-3163
Description
A review of the genus Cephalotaxus. It can be downloaded from the Internet
]. It is certainly worthy of more research[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
]. The fruit does not always ripen in Britain, before full ripeness it has a disgusting resinous flavour that coats the mouth and refuses to go away for hours[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

Medicinal

The plant may have medicinal qualities[
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
].
The seeds and bark have medicinal uses in the treatment of leukaemia and lymphoma[
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
]. (As Cephalotaxus mannii, with Cephalotaxus griffithii listed as a synonym)

Agroforestry Uses:

Very tolerant of pruning, this plant makes a very good hedge in shady positions[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].

Other Uses

A high quality, insect resistant wood. It is used for making quality furniture, fine crafts and tool handles[
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
]. (As Cephalotaxus mannii, with Cephalotaxus griffithii listed as a synonym)
The wood is used locally for firewood and construction[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].

Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame[
113
Title
The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation.
Publication
 
Author
Dirr. M. A. and Heuser. M. W.
Publisher
Athens Ga. Varsity Press
Year
1987
ISBN
0942375009
Description
A very detailed book on propagating trees. Not for the casual reader.
], it should then germinate in the following spring[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
]. A hard seedcoat can delay germination, especially in if the seed is not sown as soon as it is ripe[
81
Title
Conifers.
Publication
 
Author
Rushforth. K.
Publisher
Christopher Helm
Year
1987
ISBN
0-7470-2801-X
Description
Deals with conifers that can be grown outdoors in Britain. Good notes on cultivation and a few bits about plant uses.
,
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
]. Stored seed should be cold-stratified and sown in a cold frame in the spring[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Germination can take 18 months or more. Prick out the seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow them on for at least their first winter under cover. Plant out in late spring after the last expected frosts.
Greenwood cuttings of terminal shoots, mid summer to early autumn in a humid cold frame[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Difficult[
113
Title
The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation.
Publication
 
Author
Dirr. M. A. and Heuser. M. W.
Publisher
Athens Ga. Varsity Press
Year
1987
ISBN
0942375009
Description
A very detailed book on propagating trees. Not for the casual reader.
].
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2019-10-18. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Cephalotaxus+griffithii>

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