Podocarpus gracilior (Afrocarpus elongatus). FERN PODOCARPUS. East Africa


attractive foliage of this relative of the yew has become well known as a result of a wave of popularity that set in on campus just before 1970. Examples seem to pop up everywhere, especially in restricted spaces around buildings and nooks with not much sunlight. At first the plants seem hardly able to support themselves, but later they may become large trees. The leaves are about 4 inches long by 1/4 inch wide and light green on young plants.

Specimens can be seen on Dueña Street. A giant is left of the Bechtel International Center entrance and another is at 817 Pine Hill Road. It is the street tree at 752 Tolman Drive and nearby. In Palo Alto, large handsome specimens are at 1106 and 1181 Hamilton Avenue and at 1543 Walnut Drive. The popular name fern pine is well established but I cannot bring myself to use it. An alternative name Afrocarpus elongatus dates back to 1974.

Illustrations (links open new windows): habit 9/25/05 GSB formal planting | branchlet


Name derivation, genus | species Greek podos (foot) and karpos (seed), referring--it is claimed--to the fleshy stalk on which the seeds are borne | graceful

Related material: Canopy Trees for Palo Alto Tree Library

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