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Common Name:

Maki or Japanese Yew

Scientific Name:

Podocarpus macrophyllus var. maki

Family Name:



Slow growing conifer that can eventually reach small tree stature, but makes an attractive shrub. Japanese Yew is valued for its dark evergreen foliage that resembles that of a yew (Taxus spp.). The crown is a narrow upright oval.

Plant Habit or Use:

Shrub, medium shrub, large shrub, upright conifer, tree, small tree, topiary, interiorscape


sun, partial sun, shade

Flower Color:

Not ornamental

Blooming Period:


Fruit Characteristics:

Red berry, interesting on close inspection


5 ft to 10 ft, 10 ft to 25 ft in USDA zone 8b and warmer


5 ft to 10 ft

Earth–Kind® Index:

  • Heat Tolerance: High Heat Tolerance
  • Water Requirements: Low Water Use
  • Soil Requirements: Low Soil Requirements
  • Pest Tolerance: High Pest Resistance
  • Fertility Requirements: Low Fertility Requirements
Explanation of the Earth–Kind® Index breakdown

Firewise Index

Explanation of the Firewise Index numerical value

USDA Hardiness Zones:

8, 9, 10, 11

Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Region A - Panhandle and High Plains Region B - North and Central Texas Region C - Northeast and East Texas Region D - West Texas Region E - Upper Rio Grande Region F - Hill Country and Central Coast Region G - Southeast Texas Region H - Rio Grande Valley
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones

Additional Comments:

Soil adaptable as long as it is well drained. Tolerant of salty irrigation water and can be used in coastal landscapes. Bark is mildly attractive on older specimens. Suitable for interiorscape use in high light locations.
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A Special Note about Cool Season Annuals

Cool season annuals typically are planted in the fall or early winter and flower in early spring under moderate temperatures. This group of plant materials includes: pansies, snapdragons, violas, dianthus, flowering cabbage/kale, etc. Because cool season annuals flower in the spring when conditions are mild, most have limited heat tolerance.

As a result cool season annuals do not receive a high Earth–Kind® index despite their outstanding landscape qualities.