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Useful Tropical Plants

Podocarpus latifolius

(Thunb.) R.Br. ex Mirb.

Podocarpaceae

+ Synonyms

Podocarpus milanjianus Rendle

Common Name: East African Yellowwood

Podocarpus latifolius
Large tree growing in open position
Photograph by: Abu Shawka
Public domain
Podocarpus latifolius Podocarpus latifolius Podocarpus latifolius

General Information

East African yellowwood is an evergreen tree with a dense, narrow-branched crown that can grow up to 35 metres tall, though at higher altitudes it is more likely to be a shrub or small, stunted tree[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
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Year
0
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Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. The bole, which is usually straight and cylindrical, is up to 150, occasionally 300cm in diameter, sometimes with buttresses at base[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. It can be branchless for up to 10, occasionally 20 metres[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
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Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
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Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]
The tree provides a valuable wood and also has minor local medicinal uses. It is occasionally planted to provide shade in plantations and is grown as an ornamental and roadside tree, having a characteristic appearance with its conical shape and bright green glossy leaves[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
A valuable and highly prized timber, it was much exploited in the past, leading to a large reduction in population. It is less used nowadays, but is still being logged illegally[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. It has been classified as being of 'Least Concern' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2010)[
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References


Range

Eastern Africa - Sudan to S. Africa. Also found in Nigeria, Cameroon, Zaire and Angola.

Habitat

Often the dominant species in mountain forests in the tropics, descending to sea level in the subtropics[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitEvergreen Tree
Height25.00 m
Growth RateSlow
PollinatorsWind
Self-fertileNo
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Ornamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

In tropical areas the tree is found mainly at elevations of 900 - 3,200 metres, though it descends to sea level in the subtropics[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. It prefers an annual rainfall in the range 1,000 - 2,000mm and a mean annual temperature of 9 - 19°c[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. Older plants can withstand light frosts, though young plants are damaged or killed[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Prefers a moist but well-drained, deep, fertile soil, growing better where there is a mulch of organic matter on the soil[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
,
309
Title
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/shrubs/
Publisher
University of Florida
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
PDF fact sheets on over 500 shrubs.
]. Plants grow well in full sun but are also fairly shade tolerant[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
,
309
Title
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/shrubs/
Publisher
University of Florida
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
PDF fact sheets on over 500 shrubs.
]. Plants are susceptible to drought[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Studies in South Africa showed that natural regeneration of Podocarpus latifolius is abundant, especially in small and medium-sized gaps in the forest[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Growth is slow under natural conditions; for trees with bole diameters between 10cm and 90cm, mean diameter increment is 2 - 3mm/year. In cultivation the growth rates are usually also quite low, but they depend on soil fertility and available water. For 32-year-old trees in Rwanda a height growth of 30 - 56cm/year has been recorded, and a diameter growth of 4 - 13 mm/year[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Young trees up to pole size can be coppiced. In larger trees the branches become drooping, and some pruning is often practised[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. In natural forest in the southern Cape region of South Africa, trees are selectively harvested under a felling cycle of 10 years, and selected according to externally visible criteria of maturity[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Trees 8 - 10 metres tall may already bear fruit[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Bee nests are often found in hollows on the tree[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
This species is the national tree of South Africa[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Edible Uses

Fruit - raw[
295
Title
PlantZAfrica.com
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
,
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. The fleshy receptacle is 8 - 18 mm long, glaucous green turning pink to reddish purple or blackish purple when ripe[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Medicinal

A bark infusion is taken to treat stomach-ache[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

A leaf decoction is taken as vermifuge[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

The tree is sometimes planted to provide shade tree in coffee, cocoa and banana plantations[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Other Uses

The bark is used as waterproof cover for bee-hives[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

The heartwood is pale yellowish brown, and not demarcated from the sapwood. The grain is straight, occasionally spirally; the texture fine and even. Reddish streaks of compression wood may be present. Resin is absent, and the wood has no distinctive odour[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. The wood is moderately lightweight; resistant to acids but not durable; easy to saw and work with machine and hand tools, having little dulling effects on cutting edges[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. It can be planed to a smooth finish; has a tendency to split upon nailing and so pre-boring is recommended; it holds screws well but requires support in drilling and mortising because of its brittleness[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. The gluing, painting, varnishing and staining properties are moderately good. Steam bending gives moderate results, but turning properties are good. The peeling and slicing properties are good; good-quality but brittle veneer can be produced from the wood[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. The wood of trees from Sudan has a high lignin content and was found difficult to pulp[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
The wood, often traded as ‘podo’, is highly valued for furniture and ship building, but it is also used for poles, panelling, boxes, veneer and plywood. It is popular for making butchers’ blocks because it is fairly hard, without scent, and does not chip easily. It is suitable for construction, flooring, joinery, interior trim, vehicle bodies, railway sleepers, toys, novelties, agricultural implements, musical instruments, coffins, food containers, vats, carving, pattern making, matches, turnery, hardboard and particle board. It is also used as fuel wood, and it is considered a high-quality pulpwood[
295
Title
PlantZAfrica.com
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
,
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Propagation

Seed - fresh seeds should be cleaned and sown within 4 days in a mixture of well-rotted compost and washed sand. They germinate in 1 - 2 months, and the germination rate is up to 80%[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. Cracking of the seed coat has been recommended to speed up germination[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. When transplanting, care should be taken not to damage the taproot[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. The seedlings should be well watered. It is usually recommended to plant in shade and not in the full light, but in a test in South Africa seedlings grown without shade showed the best growth[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. Wildlings are sometimes also collected for planting[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Seeds can be stored in a cold store for up to 1 year without losing much of their germination capacity, but moisture loss should be avoided[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. Seeds stored in perforated polyethylene bags with damp sawdust showed a germination rate of 72% after one year[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

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