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Cephalotaxus sinensis - (Rehder.&Wilson.)Li.

Common Name Chinese Plum Yew
Family Cephalotaxaceae
USDA hardiness 6-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Montane coniferous or mixed forests, thickets, stream valleys, valley bottoms, open situations, on granite, sandstone, and limestone substrates at elevations of 600 - 3200 metres[266].
Range E. Asia - E. and C. China.
Edibility Rating    (4 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Full shade Semi-shade
Cephalotaxus sinensis Chinese Plum Yew


Cephalotaxus sinensis Chinese Plum Yew

 

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Summary

Main Bloom Time: Early spring, Late spring, Mid spring. Form: Oval, Pyramidal.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Cephalotaxus sinensis is an evergreen Shrub growing to 5 m (16ft 5in) at a slow rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 7 and is not frost tender. It is in leaf all year, in flower from April to May, and the seeds ripen from October to November. The species is dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required). and is pollinated by Wind. The plant is not self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) or semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

C. harringtonia sinensis. (Rehder.&Wilson.)Rehd.

Habitats

Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; not Deep Shade; Hedge;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit  Seed
Edible Uses:

Fruit[81]. Fairly large, about 25mm x 17mm[200]. No more details, though it is closely related to C. harringtonia, the fruit of which is edible raw if fully ripe[K]. 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]. It is quite likely that the seed of this species is also edible. More research is required[K].

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Cancer

Extracts from the plant have shown anticancer activity[218]. The branches, roots, leaves, and seeds are a source of many alkaloids, which are used to treat leukaemia and lymphosarcoma[266].

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Other Uses

Hedge  Hedge  Wood

Very tolerant of pruning, this plant makes a very good hedge in shady positions[200]. The wood is used to make furniture, farm implements, crafts, and utensils[266].

Special Uses

Hedge  Hedge

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Specimen, Woodland garden. Prefers a moist well-drained sandy soil but succeeds in most soils though it dislikes dry gravelly or chalky soils[1, 200]. Prefers a position in semi-shade but tolerates full shade[11, 81] and it also succeeds but does not usually thrive in full sun[200]. It grows very well in the mild wet coastal region of W. Scotland where it succeeds even in full sun[200]. Requires a humid sheltered site[200], strongly disliking very exposed positions[1]. Although the dormant plant is cold-hardy, 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]. Closely related to C. harringtonia[11, 200]. Plants are dioecious, but female plants sometimes produce fruits and infertile seeds in the absence of any male plants[11]. 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]. Male cones are produced in the axils of the previous year's leaves, whilst female cones are borne at the base of branchlets[200]. Special Features:Not North American native, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.

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Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

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Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame[113], it should then germinate in the following spring[K]. A hard seedcoat can delay germination, especially in if the seed is not sown as soon as it is ripe[81, K]. Stored seed should be cold-stratified and sown in a cold frame in the spring[200]. 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, August/September in a humid cold frame[1, 200]. Difficult[113].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Baigeiguo, Bizishu, Shuibai, Shui bai zi, Sunguo,

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Asia, China, Taiwan,

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Cephalotaxus fortuneiChinese Plum YewShrub6.0 6-9 SLMHFSNM513
Cephalotaxus harringtoniaJapanese Plum YewShrub5.0 6-9 SLMHFSM503
Cephalotaxus harringtonia drupaceaJapanese Plum YewShrub5.0 6-9 SLMHFSM503
Cephalotaxus harringtonia koreanaKorean Plum YewShrub1.5 6-9 SLMHFSM503
Cephalotaxus harringtonia nanaJapanese Plum YewShrub2.0 6-9 SLMHFSM503
Cephalotaxus lanceolataYunnan Plum YewShrub8.0 7-10 SLMHFSNM402
Cephalotaxus oliveri Shrub3.0 7-10 SLMHFSNM304
Cephalotaxus wilsoniana Tree10.0 7-10 SLMHFSM40 

 

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Expert comment

Author

(Rehder.&Wilson.)Li.

Botanical References

11200266

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

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