Taxus Species, Common Yew, English Yew, European Yew

Taxus baccata

Family: Taxaceae
Genus: Taxus (TAKS-us) (Info)
Species: baccata (BAK-ah-tuh) (Info)
Synonym:Taxus baccata subsp. eubaccata
Synonym:Taxus baccifera
Synonym:Taxus communis
Synonym:Taxus lugubris
Synonym:Taxus pectinata
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Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade

Partial to Full Shade

Full Shade


Grown for foliage



Foliage Color:



over 40 ft. (12 m)


30-40 ft. (9-12 m)


USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Pale Yellow

Chartreuse (yellow-green)


Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Mid Spring

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From semi-hardwood cuttings

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

By grafting

Seed Collecting:

Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Louisville, Kentucky

Laurel, Maryland

Riverdale, Maryland

Houghton, Michigan

Jackson, Michigan

Schenectady, New York

Altoona, Pennsylvania

Dover, Pennsylvania

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Sumter, South Carolina

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 21, 2015, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

I have never seen the straight species. The mother species from Europe, western Asia, and northern Africa is a pyramidal tree 15 to 85 feet high. Cuttings have been taken from it to produce many cultivars; many of which are shrubs or bushes. I have seen a few bushy cultivars grown in the Mid-Atlantic USA, as 'Repandens' that are cold hardy to USDA Zone 6a, though they might sneak by in Zone 5b or in Zone 5a with lots of protection. Cultivars of this species have been crossed with the Japanese species to produce many cultivars that are cold hardier to USDA Zone 4, and that have the prettier, fuller foliage of the English species.


On Mar 1, 2008, DMersh from Perth,
United Kingdom (Zone 7b) wrote:

Very slow growing evergreen with tough, highly flexible wood - it used to be the wood of choice for making bows in medieval times.
Prefers full sun on alkaline soils, does very well on dry slopes on chalk downs where other trees find it hard to grow.
One of the longest living trees, sometimes living to over 1000 years.


On Feb 23, 2007, Gustichock from Tandil,
Argentina (Zone 10b) wrote:

I understand that the fruit is the only part of this plant that is not poisonous, thats why, I guess, God made it attractive (red), "substantious" (is that a word in English?) (fleshy) and, of course, edible. Some might say: Nature is so wise! but I know and I believe that Nature and God are the same person only with different names.


On Nov 16, 2002, Baa wrote:

A coniferous tree from Europe, Northern Africa and Asia Minor regions.

Has linear, glossy, dark green leaves. Bears red arils containing one seed each on female trees, male trees bear yellow catkins. The bark is reddish brown and slightly peeling.

Loves well drained, humus rich, fertile soil in sun or shade.

Extremely poisonous to livestock (and humans) it shouldn't be used as a hedging plant for field boundaries. It does make a good, dense, shelter hedge in larger gardens and tolerates clipping and topiary.

The wood has a good degree of elasticity and was once used in Great Britain to make long bows as well as furniture. In some older parishes you can still see a couple of Yew trees close to the village church that were probably ... read more