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Taxus baccata
  • RHS AGM

common yew

T. baccata is a medium-sized bushy evergreen tree with narrow, leathery, very dark green leaves arranged in two rows on the shoots, and insignificant flowers followed on female plants by fleshy red fruits

Other common names
English yew
yew

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Size
Ultimate height
Higher than 12 metres
Time to ultimate height
20–50 years
Ultimate spread
Wider than 8 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Yellow Green
Summer Green
Autumn Green Red
Winter Green
Position
  • Full shade
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

South–facing or North–facing or East–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H7
Botanical details
Family
Taxaceae
Native to the UK
Yes
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Bushy
Potentially harmful
Most parts, especially the seeds, are highly toxic by ingestion. Wear gloves and wash hands after handling
Genus

Taxus are small evergreen trees or large shrubs of rounded habit, with dense, linear leaves, insignificant flowers and, on female plants, conspicuous fleshy red arils surrounding the solitary seeds

Name status

Correct

Plant range
Europe, W Asia

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in any well-drained soil. Will tolerate exposure, dry soils and urban pollution. Good specimen plant for topiary and hedging

Propagation

Propagate by seed or semi-hardwood cuttings

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Low Maintenance
  • Hedging and screens
Pruning

No regular pruning necessary, but can be trimmed and shaped when required

Pests

May be attacked by tortrix moth, vine weevil, gall mites and scale insects

Diseases

May be subject to phytophthora root diseases

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