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Useful Temperate Plants

Cephalotaxus oliveri

Mast.

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 griffithii Oliv.

Common Name:

No Image.

General Information

Cephalotaxus oliveri is an evergreen shrub or a tree that can grow up to 7 metres tall[
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 plant is harvested from the wild on a commercial basis for its bark (also twigs, roots and seeds), which contains anti-carcinogenic alkaloids, used for medicinal purposes. It is grown as an ornamental shrub both in and outside China, where it can be used as a hedge.
This species has a relatively wide geographical range and broad ecological amplitude, yet it has suffered from widespread deforestation for agricultural expansion and logging of the forests for timber and fuelwood (bycatch) as well as direct exploitation for its bark and other plant parts (all ongoing threats). The clearance of forests has resulted in reduced regeneration of this species, it prefers shady areas for germination and growth. The species has low genetic diversity which also reduces its ability to adapt to changing environmental conditions. The plant is classified as 'Vulnerable' 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

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.
,
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

Range

E. Asia - southern China

Habitat

An understorey shrub in evergreen, broad-leaved forests; at elevations from 300 - 2,300 metres[
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
]. Coniferous and broad-leaved forests; at elevations from 300 - 1,800 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.
].

Properties

Conservation StatusVulnerable
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitEvergreen Shrub
Height3.00 m
PollinatorsWind
Self-fertileNo
Cultivation StatusOrnamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

Cephalotaxus oliveri is a plant of warm temperate to subtropical regions of China. When dormant it can tolerate temperatures down to between -12.1 and -6.7°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.
,
329
Title
The Gymnosperm Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.conifers.org/index.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A vast amount of information on conifers and families of gymnosperms.
]. 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]).
].
Sometimes grown as an ornamental, it should certainly be suitable as a garden shrub in countries with mild and (nearly) frost-free winters[
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.
].
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 in a genus where many of the members 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 3cm 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.
]. 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.
].

The obovoid, ovoid, or almost globose seed can be 22 - 27mm long and 14 - 18mm wide[
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
].

Medicinal

The bark (also twigs, roots and seeds) contains anti-carcinogenic alkaloids, used in making pharmaceutical drugs[
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.
].

Other 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.
].

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. 2022-10-07. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Cephalotaxus+oliveri>

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