Podocarpus latifolius 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Pinopsida Pinales Podocarpaceae

Scientific Name: Podocarpus latifolius (Thunb.) R.Br. ex Mirb.
Common Name(s):
English Broad-leaved Yellowwood, Real Yellowwood, True Yellowwood, Upright Yellowwood
Taxus latifolia Thunb.
Taxonomic Source(s): Farjon, A. 2010. A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2011-07-11
Assessor(s): Farjon, A., Foden, W. & Potter, L.
Reviewer(s): Richardson, D., Thomas, P. & von Staden, L.

The reduction in area of occupancy (AOO) and/or mature trees due to logging that occurred on an extensive scale in the past cannot be accurately quantified but is very likely to have been quite substantial. Despite this, the species has a very large extent of occurrence (EOO) and is recovering in most areas because heavy logging has ceased. Consequently it is assessed as Least Concern.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:A southern African endemic found in South Africa (Western Cape, just into the Northern Cape, Eastern cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Free State, Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Limpopo Province); Swaziland; and probably Lesotho.
Countries occurrence:
South Africa (Eastern Cape Province, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo Province, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape Province, Western Cape); Swaziland
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:825
Lower elevation limit (metres):1
Upper elevation limit (metres):2000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Although historically reduced due to over-exploitation for timber, the population is now considered to be stable or perhaps increasing where natural forest is still present and protected from excessive logging.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:No
Population severely fragmented:Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Podocarpus latifolius is a canopy forest tree in the coastal, midland and montane primary forests where there is sufficient rainfall and natural protection from fires to allow such forest types to develop. In open coastal bushland and on dry, rocky mountain slopes it only grows to a stunted tree a few meters tall at most. It occurs from near sea level to 2,000 m a.s.l. In forested valleys near the coast it can be associated with Afrocarpus falcatus and both are commonly emergents above a lower canopy of angiosperm trees, among which members of the families Celastraceae, Araliaceae and Flacourtiaceae, as well as Olea capensis are often seen.
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:No
Generation Length (years):40

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Broad-leaved Yellowwood is a valuable timber tree producing even-grained, light weight, pale yellow wood suitable for a variety of purposes. It was extensively used in colonial times for railway sleepers and construction, and many houses were built with it, such as the old Cape homesteads of which many still exist. It is still valued for indoor carpentry and floors, as in former times, but large trees have become much less common and smaller sizes are now used for furniture making, especially when well seasoned and nicely figured with darker streaks. Africans value the wood for coffins. An unusual use was that of a butcher's block because the wood is hard and did not chip easily. It also has no scent, so it did not taint the meat. In South Africa this species is commonly planted as an amenity tree in parks and along streets. Elsewhere it is uncommon and mainly represented by specimens in botanic gardens. It is too slow growing for profitable forestry plantation, which is unfortunate as that role is mostly taken by several species of Eucalyptus, some of which have turned out to be invasive pests.
The berry-like receptacles are eaten when ripe by birds, monkeys, bushpigs and sometimes by people.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Past logging has undoubtedly had a negative impact upon the abundance of especially large, mature trees. This threat has now ceased and the remaining stands are no longer heavily exploited.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is present in several protected areas and it is a protected species as it is the National Tree of South Africa.

Citation: Farjon, A., Foden, W. & Potter, L. 2013. Podocarpus latifolius. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T42510A2983787. . Downloaded on 24 September 2018.
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