The yellowood family.
English: Common Yellowwood; Bastard Yellowwood; Outeniqua Yellowwood; Smooth-barked Yellowwood
Afrikaans: Bastergeelhout; Gewone Geelhout; Outeniekwa-geelhout
IsiXhosa: Umkhoba; Umkolaya; Umngcondo
IsiZulu: Umgeya; Umhlenhlane; Umomphumelo; Umpume; Umsonti
Sesotho sa Leboa: Mogôbagôba
The Yellowood Family belongs to the Gymnospermae group of seed-bearing plants, meaning they produce cones rather than flowers. This places them in the same group as cycads, cypress, pine and fir trees.
Podocarpus falcatus can reach a height of 45 m in nature but remains much smaller (about 15 m) when cultivated in a garden situation. This elegant tree has a long clean, cylindrical trunk with a slender crown and a light or crowded branching system. The leathery narrow leaves are blue-green when young, becoming dark green as they mature. The bark is smooth and ridged on younger stems and flakes off attractively on the trunk and older branches. The primitive cones are produced on separate male and female trees. The large, yellow, fleshy fruits are produced at the end of a woody stalk and take a year to ripen. The tree is chosen by many bird species for nesting.
Podocarpus falcatus makes a striking tree for a seaside garden as it grows well in sandy soils and tolerates salt laden winds.
Podocarpaceae are protected trees in South Africa, meaning that no person may cut, disturb, damage or destroy the tree, and their products may not be possessed, collected, removed, transported, exported, donated, purchased or sold - except under licence granted by the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (or a delegated authority).
this tree does not bear flowers
|Distribution and Habitat||
from the southern Western Cape Province, north-east through the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalange and Limpopo, as well as Swaziland and Mozambique, mainly in afromontane (mountain) forest, occasionally in coastal swamp forests, and also in wooded ravines in moist places
The Outeniqua yellowwood grows well in all soil types provided it is well composted and receives adequate water. Trees benefit from a layer of mulch extending beyond the edge of the branches. This keeps roots cool and reduces moisture loss from the soil. Care must be taken when transplanting not to damage the taproot as this may slow the initial growth rate of the plant. The growth rate is average, from about 50 cm per year.
This is an excellent container plant which can be used as an indoor Christmas tree.
The old method of digging a deep hole and filling it with soil and compost has resulted in many trees failing to thrive, dying, rotting at the base or worse still, falling over in later years due to poor root development. Refer to the following sites for the best method of planting trees:
For those of you who have a clay problem try:
Podocarpus falcatus is well known for its valuable pale yellow wood, traditionally used in the manufacture of fine furniture. The bark is used for tanning leather and the sap is used to treat chest complaints. Oil extracted from the seeds or fruits is used to treat gonorrhea.