Cephalotaxus harringtonia

cowtail pine

plum yew

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Outstanding Qualities

The plum yew is an unusual evergreen conifer with thick dark green needles arranged in an attractive v-shaped pattern along the branch. It is prized for its graceful layered branching and its unusual texture as a large shrub to small tree. Great for the shade!

Quick Facts

Plant Type: conifer

Foliage Type: evergreen

Plant Height: 6 ft. 0 in. (1.83 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 6 ft. 0 in. (1.83 meters)

Plant Height-Mature: 15 ft. 0 in. (4.57 meters)

Plant Width-Mature: 15 ft. 0 in. (4.57 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 6 to 9

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun or light to deep shade

Water Requirements: occasional to regular watering in full sun or drought tolerant in dappled or deep shade

Seasonal Interest: year-round coniferous evergreen foliage

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: white, variegated, gold

Great Color Partners: dark green, chartreuse, blue

Culture Notes
Plum yew grows in full sun or light to deep shade. Its best growth is in well-drained soil, but it will tolerate sand or clay. It is drought tolerant when established but appreciates occasional watering during prolonged dry weather, especially if the soil is sandy or competitive with other plants such as large conifers. It will naturally grow with a graceful layered form so minimal pruning is required.