Dwarf Plum Pine


Podocarpus spinulosus, also known as Dwarf Plum Pine or Needlebush, is a conifer native to eastern Australia. It grows in sheltered sites and gullies in warm-temperate coastal regions in NSW and QLD. It can be found in NSW, the coast and highland range south of Woy Woy to Bega and in the valleys of the Blue Mountains. In QLD, it is located in the southeast hinterland region.

It is well-suited for growing in regions with high rainfall and moderate temperatures across the southeast and eastern Australia. It can grow to a height of up to 2 to 4 meters with a spread of 2 to 4 meters. Podocarpus spinulosus is usually a medium shrub but can occasionally be found as a small tree. It has linear leaves up to 75mm long, is glossy green and ends at a sharp point. The male cones and female fruits are borne on separate plants and are dioecious, and, unlike most conifers, the fruiting cone is not woody but consists of a single seed at the end of a swollen fruit-like stalk. This “fruit” is edible.

The tree prefers well-draining soils with a pH range of 5.5 to 6.5 and can tolerate various soil types, including sandy, clay and loamy soils. It prefers a full sun exposure location but can also tolerate partial shade.

Podocarpus spinulosus is a slow-growing tree that can take several years to produce cones. It can be propagated by seed or cuttings. When propagating by seed, it is important to stratify the seed by keeping it in a moist, cool place for several weeks before planting. When propagating by cuttings, take the cutting from new growth and treat the base with a rooting hormone before planting in moist, well-draining soil.

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