Nageia nagi, or Asian Bayberry (if you absolutely need a common name), is a broad leafed conifer native to China, Taiwan, and Japan. In nature, the trees can reach up to 80 feet (25 m) in height. The glossy lanceolate, sub-opposite leaves, with no midrib are 2-8 inches (5-20 cm) long by 0.75-2.5 inches (2-6 cm) wide. New growth is light green turning dark glossy green as it ages. Branches start out green and then the bark turns reddish brown and peels in small layers as they age. The plants do very well in containers and they are hardy in the landscape in USDA zones 8-10.
Blooming: Of course podocarps do not bloom per se, but they produce seeds covered with a modified aril known as an epimatium. Nonetheless, we have not seen this plant produce any cones or seeds. Plants are dioecious, having male and female flowers on separate plants.
Culture: Nageia nagi are very easy to grow. All they require is a moist, well-drained soil and full sun to light shade. In the greenhouse, we use a soil mix consisting of 2 parts peat moss to 2 parts loam to 1 part sand or perlite. Plants grown in containers should be kept moist at all times. If planted in the landscape, however, they can take some drought. We fertilize our plants monthly during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer. Plants grown in containers are fairly slow growers and repotting should be done about every other year. During the winter months, the plants are moved to the cold rooms where the nighttime temperatures drop to 48°F (9°C). Water is somewhat restricted, but the plants are never allowed to dry thoroughly.
Propagation: Nageia nagi is propagated from seed or from cuttings. Cuttings must be kept very dry to root.
Nageia nagi was featured as Plant of the Week September 22-28, 2006.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically the late Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.