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Botanical Name: Taxus baccata

Common Name: English Yew
Origin: Europe/W. Asia/N. Africa
Location: KN


Notable Feature: The ornamental, fleshy, red fruits contain one of the most poisonous toxins, taxine. This chemical is also found in the needles, bark, and hard parts of the seed and is toxic to both humans and livestock.

Habit: A conical to pyramidal evergreen, typically growing 20 to 30 feet tall. This long-lived tree develops a reddish brown bark that is scaly and slightly peeling. 

Flower: Species is dioecious – male and female flowers occur on separate trees; male flowers are small, round and yellow, and borne on the undersides of the needles; female flowers are solitary and inconspicuous.

Fruit: In late summer a red, ornamentally attractive, berry-like fruit is produced.

Foliage: Lustrous, dark green, and flattened, each needle is up to 1½” long and arranged spirally on the stem.

Interesting Fact: Taxus baccata can reach 400 to 600 years of age. It is most easily recognized in its trimmed form as dense hedges or topiary.  It is also used for bonsai and Christmas trees.

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