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Afrocarpus falcatus - Growing Guide

Growing Afrocarpus falcatus

This plant is perhaps better known as Podocarpus falcatus. Its name was changed fairly recently but it is still very much part of the Podocarpaceae family.

This evergreen conifer is a small or medium sized tree with us at Caerhays where it currently grows to around 10ft in height with a floppy spreading habit which has its attractions. This is a South African tree and therefore of borderline hardiness except in the very mildest locations in a sheltered spot. At Caerhays it grows in a thicket protected by Tsuga and other hardier Podocarpus species in fairly full shade. It did not turn a hair (or leaf) in The Beast from the East in March 2018 so this rare UK conifer may well be worth trying by more people.

A. falcatus was one of the standout features of the Plant Heritage exhibit of Podocarpaceae at Hampton Court in 2019 with material from 60 Podocarpus species and hybrids from Caerhays and Tregrehan. Its long 5in narrow and pointed dark green leaves cascaded from the stand but it was too early in the year for any actual podocarps to have formed.

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