More Information About Taxus
Yews are evergreen dwarf conifers and are slow growing, although with great age, they can become tall. The claim to fame for most Taxus species are their soft green needles, reddish bark and red fruit-like structures that enclose a small cone. The 24 species of Taxus are spread all over the northern hemisphere and there are hundreds of named hybrids and cultivars that are popular gardens.
Taxus species are usually slow growing and thus make nice hedges and specimen plants. The hundreds of cultivars on the market vary from fastigate to rounded to low-growing. The red fruit, called yew berries attract birds who crave their sweet flavor and are not affected by the toxic nature of the seeds inside them. Taxus species are popular in Christian churchyards and cemeteries as they symbolize mourning. Historically, Taxus wood was also used to make bows due to its flexible nature.
Taxus prefers to grow in neutral, well drained soil. Wet feet will be the end of yew. Taxus prefers dappled shade conditions and pairs well with other shade-plants like hosta, helleborus, pulmonaria and ophiopogon. In addition, Taxus species are very tolerant of pollution and thus are perfect for the urban garden.
Outside of the garden, Taxus species are also well known for their medicinal compounds (Taxol) which are used to treat cancer. Most parts of the plant are very toxic if eaten, but a few animals are unaffected. Unfortunately, deer are in this group and relish a yew salad with their dinner.
When yew are ready to buy Taxus for your garden, check out our online list of Taxus for sale below.