SelecTree: Tree Detail

AFRICAN FERN PINE
Afrocarpus falcatus

Afrocarpus falcatus Afrocarpus falcatus Afrocarpus falcatus Afrocarpus falcatus Afrocarpus falcatus Afrocarpus falcatus Afrocarpus falcatus Afrocarpus falcatus Afrocarpus falcatus Afrocarpus falcatus Afrocarpus falcatus Afrocarpus falcatus Afrocarpus falcatus Afrocarpus falcatus Afrocarpus falcatus

Photo Locations: San Francisco, CA, Balboa Park - San Diego, CA, Cal Poly State University - San Luis Obispo, CA, Nipomo, CA and Los Angeles County Arboretum - Arcadia, CA

General Notes

The African fern pine, one of relatively few conifers native to Africa, was recently separated from the genus Podocarpus into a new genus, Afrocarpus. The Afrocarpus cone lacks the fleshy, often brightly colored, structure (called a receptacle) of Podocarpus cones. Despite what is described in many books, this species does not produce flowers or fruits; it is a conifer, but recurring confusion arises because instead of producing woody cones like most conifers, the fern pines produce fleshy, greenish yellow, plum-like cones. This species is often planted as a hedge or screening tree. Afrocarpus falcatus has a HPWRA (Hawai'i Pacific Weed Risk Assessment) score of 0 (Low Risk), and the Plant Pono link is https://plantpono.org/pono-plants/afrocarpus-falcatus/.

Native to Eastern South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe.

Trees may be referred to as male or female.

An Afrocarpus falcatus in City of Santa Barbara Alameda Park is registered as a California Big Tree. It measures 87 feet high, with a trunk circumference of 158 inches and a crown spread of 62 feet.

Family: Podocarpaceae

Synonyms

Afrocarpus gracilior
Podocarpus gracilior

Additional Common Names

OUTENIQUA YELLOWWOOD, COMMON YELLOWWOOD, SICKLE LEAVED YELLOWWOOD, AFRICAN FERN PINE, BASTARD YELLOWWOOD, YELLOW WOOD

Tree Characteristics

Erect and requires ample growing space.

Rounded Shape.

Has Evergreen foliage.

Height: 50 - 65 feet.

Growth Rate: 12 to 36 Inches per Year.

Longevity Greater than 150 years.

Leaves Lanceolate to Linear, Bluish Green or Silver or Gray Green, No Change, Evergreen.

Flowers Inconspicuous. Flowers in Spring. Has either male or female reproductive parts (dioecious). Trees may be sold as male or female.

Green to Purple Cone, Small (0.25 - 0.50 inches), fruiting in Fall.

Bark Light Gray, Furrowed or Smooth.

Shading Capacity Rated as Moderately Dense in Leaf.

Litter Issue is Dry Fruit.

Tree Site Conditions & Constraints

Sunset Zones 8, 9 and 14 - 24; H1, H2.

USDA Hardiness Zones 9 - 11.

Exposure Full Sun to Partial Shade.

Well Drained Soil.

Clay, Loam or Sand Texture.

Acidic Soil pH.

Seaside Tolerance is Good in Mild Zone.

Health, Safety & Environmental Concerns

Branch Strength Rated as Medium.

Root Damage Potential Rated as Low.

None Known Health Hazard.

Biogenic Emissions considered Low.

Not Deer Palatable.

Special Uses & Values

Specimen or Buffer Strip.

Espalier, Hedged or Topiary.

Cite this tree:
SelecTree. "Afrocarpus falcatus Tree Record." 1995-2020. Aug 9, 2020.
< https://selectree.calpoly.edu/tree-detail/afrocarpus-falcatus >

SelecTree Nursery Connection Map
Cal Poly / ESRI