About This Plant

Taxus baccata, commonly known as the English yew, is an evergreen coniferous tree known for its elegant and dense foliage. The tree typically reaches a height of 50 to 60 feet (15 to 18 meters), though some specimens can grow even taller. The bark of the Taxus baccata is thin, smooth, and reddish-brown when young, gradually becoming rougher and greyer as the tree matures. Over time, it may develop a peeling or scaly texture. Additionally, the Taxus baccata is valued for its longevity, with some specimens living for several centuries.

The Story

Leaf

The leaves of Taxus baccata are needle-like, arranged spirally along the stems, and are characterized by their dark green colour. The needles are relatively short, measuring around 1 to 4 centimetres in length. They have a glossy texture, and the upper surface is often darker than the lower surface. The leaves emit a distinct, resinous fragrance when crushed.

It’s important to note that while the arils are visually appealing, they contain a toxic compound called taxine, and all parts of the English yew tree are highly poisonous if ingested. As such, caution should be exercised, especially in areas frequented by children or pets.

Produce

Taxus Baccata produces small, berry-like structures known as arils. The arils of Taxus Baccata are red, fleshy, and cup-shaped, surrounding a single seed. These arils are typically produced in abundance on the female trees, adding a burst of colour to the dark green needles. The seeds themselves are not as conspicuous, nestled within the protective covering of the aril.