Virginia Tech Dendrology

Chinese plum-yew Cephalotaxaceae Cephalotaxus fortunei Hook. Listen to the Latin symbol: --
Leaf: Evergreen, linear-lanceolate flat needles, 1 1/2 to 5 inches long, spirally arranged but displayed as two-ranked, leathery with pointed tip, shiny green above and 2 pale lines below.
Flower: Both male and female flower cones born in clusters on short stalks, males pale yellow, females yellow-green and rounded.
Fruit: Olive-like fleshy aril, to 1 inch long; similar to a very large olive with a fleshy, leathery outer red-brown covering and an inner, yellow-brown, thick walled seed. Borne in clusters of 3 to 6.
Twig: Slender, green when young turning reddish brown as they mature.
Bark: Mature bark is thin, red-brown with shallow, irregular fissures and shreddy strips.
Form: A small tree or multistemmed shrub to 65 feet but far more commonly to 15 feet; branches have a distinctive drooping habit.
Looks like: California nutmeg - English yew
leaf twig bark form1 map
Additional Range Information: Cephalotaxus fortunei is planted in the USDA hardiness zones shown above and is not known to widely escape cultivaton.

All material © 2018 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson; Silvics reprinted from Ag Handbook 654