Trees IV pp 359-373 | Cite as

Cephalotaxus harringtonia (Japanese Plumyew)

  • Enaksha R. M. Wickremesinhe
  • R. N. Arteca
Part of the Biotechnology in Agriculture and Forestry book series (AGRICULTURE, volume 35)


The plumyew (Cephalotaxus Siebold and Zuccarini ex Endl. Family Cephalotaxaceae) was first reported in 1842 (Welch 1991). The native habitat for Cephalotaxus species is Southeast Asia; however, fossils have been found in North America and Europe (Rushforth 1987). Cephalotaxus are typically dioecious; however, there have been reports of monoecious plants (Ouden and Boom 1978). Branches are opposite or in whorls, branchlets are opposite, winter buds are ovoid and blunt with numerous imbricate persistent bud scales. The leaves are spirally arranged on ascending branches, spreading in two planes on side branches, pointed at the apex with a prominent midrib, and are dark green above with two broad glaucous bands below. Flowers are axillary, male flowers have globose heads in the axil of leaves, while female flowers are in the axil of scales at the base of branchlets. Seeds are ellipsoid, drupaceous, about 5 cm long and are initially green but become purplish as they mature. The seed coat is fleshy on the outside and hard inside (Ouden and Boom 1978). The foliage resembles the yew, needles are similar in shape and arranged in two rows; however, Cephalotaxus leaves are much longer and the fruiting habit is very different, clearly distinguishing Cephalotaxaceae from Taxaceae. Cephalotaxus differs from Torreya by having leaves which are soft and blunt rather than prickly pointed (van Gelderen 1986).


Cell Suspension Culture Root Culture Callus Culture Woody Plant Medium Coconut Milk 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Enaksha R. M. Wickremesinhe
    • 1
    • 2
  • R. N. Arteca
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of HorticultureThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  2. 2.Centre Analytical Labs. Inc.State CollegeUSA

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