Podocarpus macrophyllus (Kusamaki or Inumaki) is a conifer in the genus Podocarpus, family Podocarpaceae. It is the northernmost species of the genus, native to southern Japan and southern and eastern China. Kusamaki (クサマキ) and Inumaki (犬槇) are Japanese names for this tree, and Kusamaki is increasingly being used as the English name as well, replacing the old, botanically inaccurate names Buddhist Pine and Fern Pine (it is not a pine). In China, it is known as 羅漢松 or luóhàn sōng, which literally means "arhat pine".
It is a small to medium size evergreen tree, reaching 20 m tall. The leaves are strap-shaped, 6–12 cm long, and about 1 cm broad, with a central midrib. The cones are borne on a short stem, and have 2-4 scales, usually only one (sometimes two) fertile, each fertile scale bearing a single apical seed 10–15 mm. When mature, the scales swell up and become reddish purple, fleshy and berry-like, 10–20 mm long; they are then eaten by birds, which disperse the seeds in their droppings.
P. macrophyllus occurs in forests, open thickets, and roadsides from near sea level to 1000 m.
Symbolism, cultivation and uses
Kusamaki is the state tree of Chiba Prefecture, Japan. It is a popular large shrub or small tree in gardens, particularly in Japan and the southeastern United States. The ripe cone arils are edible, though the seed should not be eaten. Because of its resistance to termites and water, inumaki is used for quality wooden houses in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan.
- Conifer Specialist Group (1998). "Podocarpus macrophyllus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 15 May 2012.
- eFloras. "Podocarpus macrophyllus". Flora of China. Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA. Retrieved 15 April 2012.
- Gymnosperm Database: Podocarpus macrophyllus
- ITIS: Podocarpus macrophyllus
- Seeds: Podocarpus macrophyllus