Podocarpus salignus - Willow-Leaf Podocarp

  • Posted on: 10 July 2018
Based on our field explorations in southern Chile, we found this species quite rare in natural habitats. One such location was Cerro Ñielol, a miraculously saved Valdivian type of laurel-leaved forest near the city of Temuco.
Although there was only one small tree we could find in the dense forest, it was fortunately a male specimen (see photo below) thus being a good addition to another tree (presumably a remnant of the natural vegetation) in the campus of the local university, which was a seed-bearing one (also pictured here). – We included a vegetation photo of Cerro Ñielol in Conifers Around the World (page 871). This protected area is dominated by two species of southern beech (Nothofagus alpina and N. obliqua), with associated plants including Aextoxicon punctatum, Caldcluvia paniculata, Cryptocarya alba, Eucryphia cordifolia, Laureliopsis philippiana, Lomatia dentata, Persea lingue, Peumus boldus, and Pseudopanax valdiviensis.
The only other gymnosperm we found on Cerro Ñielol was Prumnopitys andina, another subtropical podocarp – but this was a locally rather common plant elsewhere, like in the foothills of Volcán Llaima. – Podocarpus salignus is not at all a rare plant in temperate-subtropical living collections, exemplified by arboreta in the U.K., Ireland, the southern states of the U.S., or New Zealand, and many nurseries in mild-climate countries propagate it for landscaping purposes. One perfect specimen is shown here, photographed close to the famous "Sierra Redwood Avenue" in Benmore Botanic Garden, the beautiful living collection part of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Scotland.