Alpine Totara (Podocarpus nivalis)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Alpine Totara
Podocarpus nivalis

Plants have a sprawling habit, the branches rooting as they grow, and can be grown as a tall ground cover[208]. They are best spaced about 1.2 metres apart[208].

  • Medicinal Use

    None known

  • Edible Use

    Fruit – raw or cooked[1]. Sweet and pleasant to taste[105, 128, 173]. The fruit is about 7mm long[200].

  • Cautionary Notes

    Superficially similar to Taxus species, but this plant is definitely not poisonous[200].

Cultivation & Habitat

The seed can be sown at any time of the year in a sandy soil in a warm greenhouse, though it is probably best sown as soon as it is ripe[1]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe terminal shoots, 5 – 10cm long, July/August in a frame[78].
Prefers a rich moist non-alkaline soil[167]. Shade tolerant, at least when young[200]. This species is hardy to about -25¡c[200], though the plants grow best in mild winter areas with plenty of rainfall and high humidity[200]. They often fruit freely in Britain[200]. A very ornamental plant[1], it is very tolerant of trimming[200]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200]. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.
New Zealand.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.