KUSAMAKI SEEDS (PODOCARPUS MACROPHYLLUS)
Podocarpus macrophyllus (Kusamaki or Inumaki) is a conifer in the genus Podocarpus, family Podocarpaceae. It is the northernmost species of the genus, native to southern Japan and southern and eastern China. Kusamaki (クサマキ) and Inumaki (犬槇) are Japanese names for this tree, and Kusamaki is increasingly being used as the English name as well, replacing the old, botanically inaccurate names Buddhist Pine and Fern Pine (it is not a pine). In China, it is known as 羅漢松 or luóhàn sōng, which literally means “arhat pine”. It is a small to medium size evergreen tree, reaching 20 m tall. The leaves are strap-shaped, 6–12 cm long, and about 1 cm broad, with a central midrib. The cones are borne on a short stem, and have 2-4 scales, usually only one (sometimes two) fertile, each fertile scale bearing a single apical seed 10–15 mm. When mature, the scales swell up and become reddish purple, fleshy and berry-like, 10–20 mm long; they are then eaten by birds, which disperse the seeds in their droppings. Podocarpus macrophyllus occurs in forests, open thickets, and roadsides from near sea level to 1000 m.
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