History of Portuguese Gardens. Garden Makers, Architecture, Plants, Art
Monserrate Pena Sintra Portugal
I'll throw caution to the wind,and say Podocarpus elatus...
Thanks. A little adventurism is sometimes the only way to arrive at a conclusion. This is a small plant - a few metres high but growing in deep shade of a large Metrosiderus. It is in "Australia" so that might be a clue. There are several podocarps at Monserrate including a magnificent P. totara and several specimens of P. neriifolius. I remember variegated shrubs too - but these are long gone. I'm pouring over Dallimore's conifers - had not considered elatus because he says "apex blunt". But can't find a decent photo. The midrib is especially prominent - but more so on the lower surface, other veins almost invisible. Is macrophyllus too obvious?
Podocarpus macrophyllus is just as likely,though tends to be just a little narrower. It is perhaps a little "stiffer" looking than P.elatus,and is very,very slow growing, not that elatus is quick. P. elatus is often less tapering at the tip,but can still have a mucro. Young P.elatus (as does P.neriifolius)often have reddish/brown tones in the new growth; when older,new flushes are pale green,similar colour to new flushes on Araucaria bidwilli.P.neriifolius is a prospect, but the leaf colour is paler and similar on upper and lower surfaces. Do you agree?Podocarous smithii is a very,very long shot: leaf is reasonable match,but it's a northern Australian rainforest dweller (though usually montane)unlikely to be cold-hardy enough. Soft new growth is an amazing pinky grey. I think it is only relatively recently described by David de Laubenfels,who did the major work on Podocarpaceae in the 1980s. No,rule this one out..
Will look out photos of P. neriifolius plants at Monserrate. The plant so designated has leaves smaller than this one - unless this an effect of growing in the shade. Will put them side by side next week.Still looking for a photo of P. elatus. This plant is anything but stiff - rather floppy.
Your latest photo is making me think Podocarpus elatus for sure....shade leaves are broader,softer,and often less glossy because of the mist of plant and insect residues from above. Looks a little chilly there! Our nighttime minima are just beginning to fall below 20C. Life is hard....
You know I am coming around to the idea that this might just be P. neriifolius - I want to compare it with others specimens in the garden (which all have much smaller leaves).
Post a Comment