|A mature Podocarpus latifolius growing in a Cape Town botanical garden.|
(Thunb.) R.Br. ex Mirb.
Podocarpus latifolius (Broad-leaved Yellowwood or Real Yellowwood, Afrikaans: Opregte-geelhout, Northern Sotho: Mogôbagôba, Xhosa: Umcheya, Zulu: Umkhoba) is a large evergreen tree up to 35 m high and 3 m trunk diameter, in the conifer family Podocarpaceae; it is the type species of the genus Podocarpus.
The Real Yellowwood is a large evergreen tree that grows up to 30 meters in height. It grows relatively slowly but forms a wood of exceptional quality.
The leaves are strap-shaped, 25–40 mm long on mature trees, larger, to 100 mm long, on vigorous young trees, and 6–12 mm broad, with a bluntly pointed tip. The species name "latifolius" actually means "wide-leaved". The bright-coloured foliage of new growth stands out against the dark leaves of mature foliage.
The cones of this dioecious tree are berry-like, with a single (rarely two) 7–11 mm seed apical on an 8–14 mm pink-purple aril; the aril is edible and sweet. The male (pollen) cones are 10–30 mm long.
It is native to the moister southern and eastern areas of South Africa, from coastal areas of the Western Cape east to KwaZulu-Natal and north to eastern Limpopo. Pockets are naturally found further north in and around Zimbabwe.
It is commonly found in afro-temperate forests and often in mountainous areas. In harsh or exposed areas it tends to become stunted, small and dense.
It is a slow-growing tree but exceptionally long-lived, and is increasingly grown as an ornamental feature in South African gardens. The unusual texture of the foliage is a reason for its growing popularity. The bright edible berries attract birds, which spread the seed.
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- "Protected Trees". Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, Republic of South Africa. 3 May 2013.