Answer to the Front Page Picture of the Week Question
for May 27th - June 6th, 2005
This is Podocarpus macrophylls, or Buddhist pine
In the wild this evergreen can reach up to 50 feet tall, but the one featured here is only 48 inches (right panel).
This bonsai Buddhist pine has been in training for almost 50 years. Not only does this tree make a nice
trained plant, it is well suited for some of the most unbearable urban conditions. Studies have shown
that the Buddhist pine can tolerate heavy air pollution, partial shade, cramped spaces (parking lot
islands or stairwells), poor drainage and compacted soil.
The structure featured on the left above is the catkin, which contains many tiny flowers.
The flowers will eventually bear edible purple fruit. Podocarpus macrophyllus is hardy in
USDA Hardiness Zones 8-11. You can view this Buddhist pine
in Chinese Pavilion at the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum.