San Marcos GrowersSan Marcos Growers
New User?
Wholesale Login
Enter Password
Home Products Purchase Gardens About Us Resources Contact Us
 Web Site Search
Plant Database
Search by Plant Name
  General Plant Info
Search for any word
  Advanced Search >>
Search by size, origins,
color, cultural needs, etc.
Site Map
Retail Locator
Plant Listings

PLANT TYPE
PLANT GEOGRAPHY
PLANT INDEX
ALL PLANT LIST
PLANT IMAGE INDEX
PLANT INTROS
SPECIALTY CROPS
NEW  2017 PLANTS
PRIME LIST>
  for AUGUST


 Weather Station

 
Products > Afrocarpus gracilior
 
Afrocarpus gracilior - African Fern Pine
   

 
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Tree
Family: Podocarpaceae (Podocarps)
Origin: Africa, East (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Insignificant
Bloomtime: Not Significant
Synonyms: [A. falcatus, Podocarpus gracilior]
Height: 40-60 feet
Width: 20-40 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25 F
Afrocarpus gracilior (African Fern Pine) - A dense, graceful tall evergreen tree with dark gray bark and pendulous branches that are heavily clothed in 2-3 inch long, narrow dark green leaves. In habitat it can reach as tall and 100 feet and old trees in cultivation can be 60 feet tall. It produces at branch ends a yellow fleshy fruit-like structure (technically a cone) that ages to purplish-blue. Plant in sun or part shade and water regularly. This is a nice dark green shade tree and it is also useful as a large screening plant. One of the few conifers native to Africa, it comes from equatorial eastern Africa ranging from Ethiopia south into Uganda and Kenya where it grows in dry forests between 4,000 and 9,000 feet. Long cultivated in gardens in the US under the name Podocarpus gracilior but more recently this genus has been split up and the valid name of this plant is now considered to be Afrocarpus gracilior. The distinguishing characteristics between Afrocarpus and Podocarpus have to do with how the seed-bearing structure (the fruit) is held, not on a fleshy stalk or receptacle for Afrocarpus as opposed to Podocarpus, which does have this structure, and because Afrocarpus have opposite decussate leaves alternate in pairs set at 90 degrees from the pair below it. We continue to grow other plants (P. henkelii, P. latifolia and P. totara) that have remained in the genus Podocarpus. The name Podocarpus comes from the Greek root words 'podo' meaning "foot" or "footed" and 'karpos' meaning "seed" and Afrocarpus is adapted from this name with the translation meaning African seed (from 'Afrus' the Libyan Hercules). The specific epithet is from Latin 'gracilis' meaning "thin" with the comparative suffix 'ior' making the meaning "thinner", likely in comparison to other species or Podocarpus. This plant is sometimes listed as Afrocarpus falcatus, a South African species that has spherical fruit while A. gracilior from the north has oval fruit. Some contend that it was Afrocarpus falcatus that was originally introduced into California as Podocarpus gracilior and that the true P. gracilior, now Afrocarpus gracilior is not actually in cultivation or is rarer. So not to confuse our customers and ourselves too much, we are continuing to list this tree as Afrocarpus gracilior until such time as botanists can work this all out.  This description is based on research and observations of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in our nursery garden and in other gardens that we visit. We also incorporate comments received and appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have any additional information about this plant, particularly if they disagree with what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Afrocarpus gracilior.
 
  [MORE INFO]