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Taxus baccata
Taxus baccata

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Zone
Zones A3, 3-9, 14-24, 32, 33
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Full, Partial, Shade
Regular Water
Moderate

Taxus baccata

English Yew
Taxaceae
Evergreen, Shrubs, Trees

TAXUS

Yews are conifers, but they do not bear cones. Instead, they produce fleshy, scarlet (rarely yellow), cup-shaped, single-seeded, berrylike fruit. In general, yews are darker green, more formal-looking, and more tolerant of shade and moisture than most cultivated conifers. Long-lived. Only the female plants produce berries, and many do so without male plants nearby. Excellent for hedges and screens. Yews can be moved without harm even when large, but since they grow at a slow to moderate rate, big plants are luxury items.

Yews take many soils but do not thrive in strongly alkaline or strongly acid conditions. Do not take extreme heat, and reflected heat from a hot south or west wall will burn foliage. Even cold-hardy kinds show needle damage when exposed to dry winds, very low temperatures. Can take much shearing and pruning, since they sprout from bare wood. Subject to vine weevils, scale insects, and spider mites. During prolonged spells of hot, dry weather, hose off plants every 2 weeks.

Taxus baccata

Tree or shrub, from Europe, North Africa, and western Asia. Grows to 25–40 ft. or taller and 15–25 ft. wide, with a broad, low crown. Needles are 1/2–1 1/2 in. long, dark green and glossy above, pale beneath; spirally arranged. Far more common than the species, are garden varieties.

Taxus baccata ‘Fastigiata’
Taxus baccata ‘Fastigiata’

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‘Fastigiata’ (‘Stricta’)

This becomes a dark green column 15–30 ft. tall and 3–10 ft. wide. Has larger needles and more crowded, upright branches than the species. Branches tend to spread near the top, especially in snowy regions or where moisture is plentiful. To minimize that, branches can be wired together. Plants that outgrow their space can be reduced by heading back and thinning; old wood sprouts freely. There is a form with yellowish-white variegation.

‘Repandens’

Long, horizontal, spreading branches make this a 2–4-ft.-high groundcover. It extends to 8–10 ft. wide after many years. Useful low foundation plant. Will arch over a wall.

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Taxus baccata ‘Repandens’

Long, horizontal, spreading branches make this a 2–4-ft.-high groundcover. It extends to 8&ndash...

Taxus baccata

Tree or shrub, from Europe, North Africa, and western Asia. Grows to 25–40 ft. or taller and 15&...

Taxus baccata ‘Fastigiata’ (‘Stricta’)

This becomes a dark green column 15–30 ft. tall and 3–10 ft. wide. Has larger needles and ...

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