Herbs & Plants

Podocarpium podocarpum fallax

Botanical Name: Podocarpium podocarpum fallax
Family: Fabaceae
Order: Fabales
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Magnoliids
Genus: Podocarpium

Synonyms: D. japonicum. Miq. pro parte.

Common Names:

Habitat: Podocarpium podocarpum fallax is native to E. Asia – China, Japan, Korea. It grows in the woods and thickets throughout Japan. Roadsides on mountain slopes, thickets, sparse forests and forest margins at elevations of 300 – 1400 metres in China.

Description :
Hylodesmum podocarpum is a herbaceous perennial Podocarpus weeping herb with erect stems 50 – 110cm tall. Stem and petiole sparsely spreading pubescent or glabrous. Leaves 3-foliolate; petiole 2-12 cm; terminal leaflet blade variable in shape and size; broadly ovate; ovate; or rhombic to narrowly lanceolate. Racemes or panicles; terminal or terminal and axillary; 20-30 cm; elongated to 40 cm at fruiting; often 2-flowered at each node. Pedicel 2-4 mm; elongated to 5-6 mm at fruiting. Calyx ca. 2 mm; lobes shorter than tube. Corolla purplish red; ca. 4 mm; standard broadly obovate; wings narrowly elliptic; keel similar to wings; not clawed. Ovary stipitate. Legume ca. 1.6 cm; often 2-jointed; articles slightly broadly subobovate; 5-10 x 3-4 mm; with hooked and minute straight hairs; stipe 3-5 mm; fruiting pedicel ca. 6 mm. 2n = 22*.


Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.
Requires a well-drained soil and a sunny sheltered position. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby.

Through seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse. Scarify and pre-soak stored seed for 5 hours in warm water then sow March in a greenhouse. The seed usually germinates within 1 – 4 months at 25°c. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots once they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer and consider giving them some protection from frost in their first winter outdoors. Cuttings of half-ripe wood with a heel, July/August in a frame. Division as the plant comes into growth in the spring. Larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring. Root cuttings in winter.

Edible Uses: This species is related to D. oxyphyllum and quite possibly has the same uses. These are:- Seed – cooked. Ground into a powder or steamed.

Medicinal Uses: The whole plant is used medicinally for treating dysentery, rheumatism and for promoting blood.It is used in systems of traditional medicine for conditions such as fevers, coughs, arthritis, sexually transmitted diseases, and canine distemper. A chemotherapy drug used in treatment of leukemia is made from Podocarpus.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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