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(plum-yew), a genus of coniferous evergreen trees or shrubs of the family Cephalotaxaceae. The plants have densely foliated opposite or verticillate branches. The leaves are narrowly linear and distributed in two rows on the lateral shoots. The microstrobiles consist of seven to 12 microsporophylls, made up of spherical clusters in the leaf axils of the previous year’s shoots. The megastrobiles consist of two ovules located in the axils of the thickened opposite scales. A cone contains three or four megastrobiles; one or two large seeds with a fleshy outer coat and a fine woody interior develop in each megastrobile.
There are six or seven species of plum-yew, distributed in the eastern Himalayas, China, Korea, and Japan. Some species are cultivated as ornamentals for parks and gardens. In the USSR two species are found in the Caucasus and on the southern shore of the Crimea. C. drupacea, a shrub or tree reaching a height of 12–15 m in its native habitat (Japan and Central China), has gray bark with desquamate longitudinal bands. In cultivation it has various decorative forms (dwarf, columnar). C. fortunei, a species from China, has reddish bark and long pendulous branches.
REFERENCESDerev’ia i kustarniki SSSR, vol. 1. Moscow-Leningrad, 1949.
Takhtadzhian, A. L. Vysshie rasteniia, vol. 1. Moscow-Leningrad, 1956.
V. N. GLADKOVA