Nageia alpina (R.Br. ex Hook.f.) F.Muell.
Nageia parvifolia (Parl.) Kuntze
Podocarpus alpinus R.Br. ex Hook.f.
Podocarpus parvifolius Parl.
Podocarpus totara alpinus (R.Br. ex Hook.f.) Carrière
Common Name: Mountain Plum Pine
Podocarpus lawrencei is a profusely-branched, evergreen shrub or small tree. It can grow up to 15 metres tall in the lower parts of its range, though at higher elevations it becomes a dwarf shrub rather wider than tall[
The plant is probably harvested from the wild for local use as a food.
Podocarpus lawrencei is widespread and often common in the mountains of both SE Australia and Tasmania. The plant is classified as 'Least Concern' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2013)[
Superficially similar to Taxus species, but this plant is definitely not poisonous[
Australia - New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania
Rocky terrain, e.g. scree slopes, broken rocky plateaus and ridges formed by acidic rock types; also in wet sclerophyll forest where it can reach to 4 metres; subalpine/alpine dwarf scrub and grassland: at elevations from 1,100 - 2,030 metres[
|Conservation Status||Least Concern
Based on data from 79 collection localities Podocarpus lawrencei prefers a climate with a mean annual temperature of 7.8°c, with an average minimum in the coldest month of -2.1°c, and a mean annual precipitation of 1,438mm. It is able to tolerate winter temperatures falling to around -17.7°c to -12.2°c[
]. It can tolerate occasional lows to around -25°c according to another report[
].. Plants grow best in humid areas with high rainfall and mild winters[
]. Plants often fruit freely in Britain[
Prefers a position in full sun[
], though plants are shade tolerant, at least when young[
]. Prefers a rich moist non-alkaline soil[
]. Grows best in sheltered areas with a humid climate[
]. The plant is adapted to the poor young, soils of the alpine region and so will prefer freely draining acidic soils but is quite tolerant[
In sheltered locations in the lower parts of its range, the plant can become a tree up to 15 metres tall, but at higher elevations it can be a dwarf shrub. An adaptation to the harsh alpine environment is its habit of clinging to and taking the form of exposed granite boulders. This enables the plant to maximize the light and warmth available for growth during the snow free season[
Plants can be very long-lived but slow-growing. A specimen from near Mt Kosciuszko was found to be 170 years old but had a trunk diameter of only 6cm[
A very slow growing plant, reaching 150cm tall in 50 years at Kew Gardens[
]. It is a good plant for the rock garden[
Plants are very tolerant of pruning[
Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[
A dioecious species - both male and female forms must be grown if fruit and seed are required. Occasional plants are monoecious[
Mountain Plum Pine is suitable as a low, hardy shrub in countries with mildly cold winters. It is planted in rockeries or as undergrowth in park-like tree plantings and provides an evergreen, spreading shrub with attractive, red 'fruits' (the ripe receptacles) topped by a shiny, green seed. It is uncommon in Europe, North America and Japan probably because it is not easy to germinate[
Fruit - raw or cooked. The fruit is about 6mm x 5mm in size with a single seed[
]. The 'fruit' is actually a succulent, swollen, fruit-like stalk[
]. Although we have seen no specific reports of edibility for this fruit, it is closely related to other species with edible fruits and is very unlikely to be poisonous - we have indeed eaten it on a number of occasions and it has a mucilaginous texture with a slightly sweet flavour[
The seed can be sown at any time of the year in a sandy soil in a warm greenhouse, though it is probably best sown as soon as it is ripe[
]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Cuttings of half-ripe terminal shoots, 5 - 10cm long, mid summer in a frame[