I Love Cephalotaxus harringtonia ‘Fastigiata’ aka upright Japanese Plum Yew

Oct 30, 2020 | Love This!

Name: Cephalotaxus harringtonia ‘Fastigiata’ upright Japanese Plum Yew

Type of Plant:  Slow growing, upright evergreen that grows well in sun or part shade.

Why I Love/Hate this plant:   It’s not easy to find an upright evergreen that stays thin and doesn’t grow so quickly that it’s soon too large. I love this plant because of those characteristics, but also because it’s dark green in color, tolerates a lot of shade, and the deer don’t eat it!  This is a great plant for covering your electric meters, for example. It’s a good shrub for a space that’s only four feet wide, and for putting in with other evergreens for a contrasting shape, color and texture.

A Word to the Wise:  This plant can be pruned as needed, but it’s not a fast-growing shrub. So if you want it to screen utilities on the side of a house, for example, buy one that’s already three feet tall.

This upright Japanese plum yew has been growing on the edge of my woodland for six years. In that time it’s grown about three inches a year, in dappled sun. The deer have never munched it (knock on wood) and the only pruning I do is to remove deadwood and odd, funky branches. (I see one on the lower right that will get trimmed back when I need greens in December.)

The needles on the plum yew are longer than on other plants we call yews. They are also stiffer.



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