CEPHALOTAXUS (spreading or upright yew)

Cephalotaxus is a soft needled evergreen shrub which grows well in the shade. It is great for massing under pines or in lawn islands. Commonly referred to as Southern spreading yew, this plant is somewhat slow growing and is rarely bothered by insects and disease. Once established it is drought tolerant and is deer resistant. There is no visible bloom but it has lovely fern like foliage. We grow four main varieties: C. prostrata, C. drupaceaC. Duke Gardens, and an upright columnar variety C. fastigiata.

C. prostrata

This is the most popular variety. In deep shade it almost becomes a ground cover. Under high, filtered shade it typically grows 3 ft tall by 6 ft wide. Needles are flat on the branches and it has somewhat of a weeping look.

C. drupacea

This variety is a little more vase like typically growing 3-4 feet high and 4-5 feet around. Once established it will tolerate sun very well. The needles of 'drupacea' whirl around the stem. Takes pruning well.

C. Duke Gardens

This variety initially resembles 'Drupacea' but after a few years will look more like 'Prostrata' especially if planted in shade. The foliage is deeper green and the individual needles somewhat smaller than the other two. Size will be 3ft tall x 4 ft wide.

C. fastigiata

This variety is upright growing to a height of 6-8 feet, however it is very slow growing and height can be easily maintained with pruning. More of a columnar grower 3 ft around at 5 ft or so. Excellent for use in containers or at garden entrances. Sun or shade, drought tolerant once established.