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Capitata (Japanese Yew)

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Capitata (Japanese Yew)

Capitata with Needle-Like Leaves

What is Capitata?

Also known as Japanese yew, Capitate yew and Taxus cuspidata, Capitata is an evergreen conifer native to eastern Asia. It has flat, supple and dark, needle leaves. Female Capitata has red, fleshy fruits. Varying in sizes, Capitata refers to pyramidal and upright Japanese yews propagated from seeds.

Japanese yew thrives in light shade and well-drained soils. The plant is tolerant to conditions in urban areas. Capitata belongs to the Taxaceae family and grows up to 25 feet high and 10 feet wide.

The plant does well in AHS Plant Heat Zone 7 to 1 and USDA Hardiness Zone 4 to 7. Capitata has showy foliage, hence its use as an ornamental plant. However, it's flower is of no significant interest.

Capitata Cultivation

Japanese yew does well in partly shaded to full sun weather conditions and well-drained soils with average moisture levels. Although moist sandy loam soils are preferable, it must never be wet. It is pruned in early spring to give it form and shape for an appealing outdoor space.

Native to China, Korea, Japan and Russia, Capitata is an evergreen plant. The shrub has many stems and needle-like leaves for ornamental use. Wild Japanese yew species grow up to 50 feet tall in their natural habitats. On the other hand, cultivated cultivars are smaller, especially if pruned often.

The dark-green needle-like leaves have straight, spiny tips and yellow tinges beneath. In winter, Capitata foliage ranges in color from yellow to brown to reddish-brown. The reddish brown Japanese yew bark is scaly. Female yews are dioecious despite being categorized as conifers.

The plant produces red fruits that resemble berries, but not cones. The fruit is fleshy and has a single seed. It's attractive and thus ideal for ornamental use.

Capitata Insects and Diseases

Japanese yew is susceptible to twilight blight, winter burn, root rot and needle blight. Mealybugs, weevils and scale are common Capitata pests.

Capitata Uses

The plants are used as screens, foundations, groupings and accents in gardens. They can also be grown in pots and placed in patios for enhanced appeal outdoors.

Browse through our collection of gardening tools and supplies for what you need to plant Capitata at home.

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