Chinese Podocarp
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Chinese Podocarp
ntroduced Photo: Shaista Ahmad
Common name: Chinese Podocarp
Botanical name: Podocarpus chinensis    Family: Podocarpaceae (Podocarp family)

Podocarp is named from the Greek podos or pous, a foot, and karpos, a fruit, because of the swollen fleshy fruit-stalk of the species first described. This species is from China, though widely cultivated in Japan, where it is the Kusa-maki. For years it was not known in the wild state. It is still very poorly understood and often confused with Podocarpus macrophyllus. It differs from Podocarpus macrophyllus mainly in being smaller and having smaller leaves, only 1.5 to 3.5 inches long. In cultivation it is a mere shrub, at most perhaps to 15 feet tall. It is good for bonsai. Male and female flowers are on different trees. Male catkins are tony cone-like, about 3 cm long, in leaf axils. Anthers are spherical. Female flowers occur singly in leaf axils. Fruit is spherical, about 1 cm long, green or purplish, with fleshy receptacle purplish.

Identification credit: Shaista Ahmad
Photographed in Lal Bagh Botanical Garden, Bangalore.
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