name = "Podocarpus"

image_width = 240px
image_caption = "Podocarpus neriifolius"
regnum = Plantae
divisio = Pinophyta
classis = Pinopsida
ordo = Pinales
familia = Podocarpaceae
genus = "Podocarpus"
genus_authority = Labill.Verify source|date=June 2008
subdivision_ranks = Species
subdivision = 105 species (Farjon 1998); see list

"Podocarpus" is a genus of conifers, the most numerous and widely distributed of the podocarp family Podocarpaceae. The 105 species of "Podocarpus" are evergreen shrubs or trees from 1-25 m (rarely to 40 m) in height. The leaves are 0.5-15 cm long, lanceolate to oblong, falcate (sickle-shaped) in some species, with a distinct midrib, and are arranged spirally, though in some species twisted to appear in two horizontal ranks. The cones have two to five fused scales, of which only one, rarely two, are fertile, each fertile scale with one apical seed. At maturity, the scales become berry-like, swollen, brightly coloured red to purple and fleshy, and are eaten by birds which then disperse the seeds in their droppings. The male (pollen) cones are 5-20 mm long, often clustered several together. Many species, though not all, are dioecious.

"Podocarpus" and the Podocarpaceae were endemic to the ancient supercontinent of Gondwana, which broke up into Africa, South America, India, Australia-New Guinea, New Zealand, and New Caledonia between 105 and 45 million years ago. Podocarpus is a characteristic tree of the Antarctic flora, which originated in the cool, moist climate of southern Gondwana, and elements of the flora survive in the humid temperate regions of the former supercontinent. As the continents drifted north and became drier and hotter, Podocarps and other members of the Antarctic flora generally retreated to humid regions, especially in Australia, where sclerophyll genera like "Acacia" and "Eucalyptus" became predominant, and the old Antarctic flora retreated to pockets that presently cover only 2% of the continent. As Australia drifted north toward Asia, the collision pushed up the Indonesian archipelago and the mountains of New Guinea, which allowed podocarp species to hop across the narrow straits into humid Asia, with "P. macrophyllus" reaching north to southern China and Japan. The flora of Malesia, which includes the Malay peninsula, Indonesia, the Philippines, and New Guinea, is generally derived from Asia but includes many elements of the old Gondwana flora, including several other genera in the Podocarpaceae ("Dacrycarpus, Dacrydium, Falcatifolium, Nageia, Phyllocladus," and the Malesian endemic "Sundacarpus"), and also "Agathis" in the Araucariaceae.


There are two subgenera, subgenus "Podocarpus" and subgenus "Foliolatus", distinguished by cone and seed morphology.

Subgenus "Podocarpus". Cone not subtended by lanceolate bracts, seed usually with an apical ridge. Distributed in the temperate forests of Tasmania, New Zealand, southern Chile, with some species extending into the tropical highlands of Africa and the Americas.

Subgenus "Foliolatus". Cone subtended by two lanceolate bracts ("foliola"), seed usually without an apical ridge. Generally tropical and subtropical distribution, concentrated in east and southeast Asia and Malesia, overlapping with subgenus "Podocarpus" in northeastern Australia and New Caledonia.

Species in family Podocarpaceae have been reshuffled a number of times based on genetic and physiological evidence, with many species formerly assigned to genus "Podocarpus" now assigned to other genera. A sequence of classification schemes have moved species between "Nageia" and "Podocarpus", and in 1969 de Laubenfels divided the huge genus "Podocarpus" into "Dacrycarpus, Decussocarpus" (an invalid name he later revised to the valid "Nageia"), "Prumnopitys", and "Podocarpus".

* Subgenus "Podocarpus"
** section "Podocarpus" (eastern and southern Africa)
*** "Podocarpus elongatus"
*** "Podocarpus latifolius"
** section "Scytopodium" (Madagascar, eastern Africa)
*** "Podocarpus capuronii"
*** "Podocarpus henkelii"
*** "Podocarpus humbertii"
*** "Podocarpus madagascariensis"
*** "Podocarpus rostratus"
** section "Australis" (southeast Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia, southern Chile)
*** "Podocarpus alpinus"
*** "Podocarpus cunninghamii"
*** "Podocarpus gnidioides"
*** "Podocarpus lawrencei"
*** "Podocarpus nivalis"
*** "Podocarpus nubigenus"
*** "Podocarpus totara"
** section "Crassiformis" (northeast Queensland)
*** "Podocarpus smithii"
** section "Capitulatis" (central Chile, southern Brazil, the Andes from northern Argentina to Ecuador)
*** "Podocarpus glomeratus"
*** "Podocarpus lambertii"
*** "Podocarpus parlatorei"
*** "Podocarpus salignus"
*** "Podocarpus sellowii"
*** "Podocarpus sprucei"
*** "Podocarpus transiens"
**section "Pratensis" (southeast Mexico to Guyana and Peru)
*** "Podocarpus oleifolius"
*** "Podocarpus pendulifolius"
*** "Podocarpus tepuiensis"
**section "Lanceolatis" (southern Mexico, Puerto Rico, Lesser Antilles, Venezuela to highland Bolivia)
*** "Podocarpus coriaceus"
*** "Podocarpus matudai"
*** "Podocarpus rusbyi"
*** "Podocarpus salicifolius"
*** "Podocarpus steyermarkii"
**section "Pumilis" (southern Caribbean islands and Guyana highlands)
*** "Podocarpus angustifolius"
*** "Podocarpus aristulatus"
*** "Podocarpus buchholzii"
*** "Podocarpus roraimae"
*** "Podocarpus urbanii"
**section "Nemoralis" (central and northern South America, south to Bolivia)
*** "Podocarpus brasiliensis"
*** "Podocarpus celatus"
*** "Podocarpus guatemalensis"
*** "Podocarpus magnifolius"
*** "Podocarpus purdieanus"
*** "Podocarpus trinitensis"

* Subgenus "Foliolatus"
** section "Foliolatus" (Nepal to Sumatra, Philippines, and New Guinea to Tonga)
*** "Podocarpus archboldii"
*** "Podocarpus beecherae"
*** "Podocarpus borneensis"
*** "Podocarpus deflexus"
*** "Podocarpus insularis"
*** "Podocarpus levis"
*** "Podocarpus neriifolius"
*** "Podocarpus novae-caledoniae"
*** "Podocarpus pallidus"
*** "Podocarpus rubens"
*** "Podocarpus spathoides"
** section "Acuminatus" (northern Queensland, New Guinea, New Britain, Borneo)
*** "Podocarpus dispermus"
*** "Podocarpus ledermannii"
*** "Podocarpus micropedunculatis"
** section "Globulus" (Taiwan to Vietnam, Sumatra and Borneo, and New Caledonia)
*** "Podocarpus annamiensis"
*** "Podocarpus globulus"
*** "Podocarpus lucienii"
*** "Podocarpus nakai"
*** "Podocarpus sylvestris"
*** "Podocarpus teysmannii"
**section "Longifoliolatus" (Sumatra and Borneo, East to Fiji)
*** "Podocarpus atjehensis"
*** "Podocarpus bracteatus"
*** "Podocarpus confertus"
*** "Podocarpus decumbens"
*** "Podocarpus degeneri"
*** "Podocarpus gibbsii"
*** "Podocarpus longifoliolatus"
*** "Podocarpus polyspermus"
*** "Podocarpus pseudobracteatus"
*** "Podocarpus salomoniensis"
**section "Gracilis" (southern China, across Malesia to Fiji)
*** "Podocarpus affinis"
*** "Podocarpus glaucus"
*** "Podocarpus lophatus"
*** "Podocarpus pilgeri"
*** "Podocarpus rotundus"
** section "Macrostachyus" (Southeast Asia to New Guinea)
*** "Podocarpus brassii"
*** "Podocarpus brevifolius"
*** "Podocarpus costalis"
*** "Podocarpus crassigemmis"
*** "Podocarpus tixieri"
** section "Rumphius" (Hainan, south through Malesia to northern Queensland)
*** "Podocarpus grayii"
*** "Podocarpus laubenfelsii"
*** "Podocarpus rumphii"
** section "Polystachyus" (southern China and Japan, through Malaya to New Guinea and northeast Australia)
*** "Podocarpus chinensis"
*** "Podocarpus chingianus"
*** "Podocarpus elatus"
*** "Podocarpus fasciculus"
*** "Podocarpus macrocarpus"
*** "Podocarpus macrophyllus"
*** "Podocarpus polystachyus"
*** "Podocarpus ridleyi"
*** "Podocarpus subtropicalis"
** section "Spinulosus" (Southeast and Southwest coasts of Australia)
*** "Podocarpus drouynianus"
*** "Podocarpus spinulosus"


Several species of "Podocarpus" are grown as garden trees, or trained into hedges, espaliers, or screens. Common garden species used for their attractive deep green foliage and neat habits include "P. macrophyllus", known by its Japanese name Kusamaki, or occasionally as "buddhist pine" or "fern pine", "P. salignus" from Chile, and for a small shrub with attractive red "berries", "P. nivalis". Some members of the genera "Nageia, Prumnopitys" and "Afrocarpus" are also still sold mislabeled as "Podocarpus". The red, purple or bluish fleshy fruit of most species of "Podocarpus" are edible, raw or cooked into jams or pies, and they have a mucilaginous texture with a slightly sweet flavor. However, the fruit are slightly toxic and should therefore be eaten sparingly, especially when eaten raw.

References and external links

* Farjon, Aljos. 1998. "World Checklist and Bibliography of Conifers". Kew, Richmond, UK
* de Laubenfels, David J. 1985. A taxonomic revision of the genus "Podocarpus". "Blumea" 30: 51-278.
* [http://www.conifers.org/po/po/index.htm Gymnosperm Database - "Podocarpus"]
* [http://www.mobot.org/gardeninghelp/plantfinder/Plant.asp?code=A165 Kemper Center for Home Gardening]
* [http://www.ibiblio.org/pfaf/cgi-bin/arr_html?Podocarpus+alpinus&CAN=COMIND Plants For A Future: "Podocarpus alpinus"]
* [http://volusia.org/arboretum/Shrubs/podocarpus.htm "Podocarpus"]
* [http://eprints.ru.ac.za/126/01/sajsci_v100_n11_a26%5B1%5D.pdf Taxonomy of "Podocarpus"]

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  • Podocarpus — noun evergreen trees or shrubs; sometimes classified as member of the family Taxaceae • Syn: ↑genus Podocarpus • Hypernyms: ↑gymnosperm genus • Member Holonyms: ↑Podocarpaceae, ↑family Podocarpaceae, ↑podocarpus f …   Useful english dictionary

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