Sunday, January 17, 2010

Yews - The Taxus Family

A genus of 7 species of evergreen trees and shrubs all with blunt tipped linear leaves. Yews generally grow continuously from spring into fall. The seeds inside the berry is poisonous so selection may be important for some - cultivars with no berries are listed. They are somewhat slow growing but very long lived. Tolerant of severe pruning, many are used for hedging, bonsai and topiary.
All parts of the Yew are toxic if eaten by humans or livestock but are surprisingly gourmet food for deer ( use Cephalotaxus instead in deer prone areas that are not fenced ). That being said, a chemical inside the foliage of some species can be used to treat some types of Cancer, along with substances that convert to Taxol. Taxus Yews will likely be increasingly cultivated for medicinal purposed in the future.
( more on Taxol - http://ohioline.osu.edu/sc150/sc150_1.html )
The Yews thrive in sun or shade on most well drained soil, even alkaline.
Prefers soil PH of 5.5 to 7.5. They are tolerant of pollution, windy conditions and even drought if fully established. It is recommend to mulch Yews, at least until they grow large enough to shade the earth; they like their soil cool.
Most Yews also enjoy cool humid air. Pests and diseases rarely occur on Yews; however roadsalt spray ( not tolerant of ocean salt breezes either ) and poor planting technique has wiped out many commercial plantings that I've seen. Personally I think it takes an idiot to kill a Yew - however once established. It is best to install a pot grown plant that isn't root bound at the proper depth to ensure quick establishment. I prefer to plant in early October in zones 7 to 8; or late March zones 6 and north.
If needed, hard pruning of Yews ( more than 6 inches of outer crown ) should be done in March ( before growth begins ). A healthy overgrown Yew can be cut back severely - even to the main trunk and resprout. Yews can also be sheared as a hedge, however many people tend to shear Yews just because "everyone does it". Many Yews, look best when left to their own natural growth habit, and many can be limbed up to form small to medium size trees, some eventually even growing into large trees. Yews are among the most versitile of all evergreens.
Propagation can be achieved from seed sown in a cold frame when ripe, the cultivars from 4 inch cuttings taken during late summer, autumn or winter.

* photos of unknown internet source



Taxus baccata ( English Yew )
A medium to large size tree that is a widespread native of Europe as well as western Asia and northern Africa. It is moderate growing when young, becoming very slow growing and extremely long lived. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 1.7 feet with a trunk diameter increase of 1 inch; 20 years - 13 x 6.6 feet; 35 years - trunk diameter of 1.8 feet; 65 years - trunk diameter of 4 feet; largest on record - 140 x 131 feet with a trunk diameter of 21 feet; largest in Pennsylvania - 45 x 63 x 4 feet @ Charles Evan Cemetery in Reading ( another large tree grows at Longwood Gardens, PA ); largest in Maryland - 50 x 60 x 4 feet in Talbot Co., MD; longest lived - 2000 years ( age of 4000 years have been reported on a massive tree with a huge wide luxuriant crown, growing at Llanrwst, Conwy, Wales ).
Often used in church yards in cemetaries in Europe, it is also very valuable for screens, hedges and topiary. The fact these trees are common in cemetaries is misleading, they are the SYMBOL OF LONG LIFE!
The linear leaves, up to 1.3 x 0.1 inches in size, are deep green above, light yellow -green beneath.
The scale male cones are yellow. The female flowers on separate plants become fleshy red berries, up to 0.5 inches, with a single seed inside.
The red-brown bark is smooth to flaking.
Hardy zone 5 to 10. Clones from Hungary tend to be the hardiest in the U.S. Midwest, north into zone 5 being less likely to burn during winter. Young trees may be pruned to a single leader to prevent later ice damage. Trees may be limbed up to walk beneath though growing a lawn beneath may be difficult in the deep shade.

* photos taken on August 2004 @ Tyler Arboretum, near Philly, PA



* photos taken on 4 th of July 2010 @ Washington, D.C.


* photo of unknown internet source

* photo taken on Aug 25 2011 @ Scott Arboretum, Swarthmore College, PA

* photos taken on Oct 17 2013 in Olney, MD
* photos taken on Oct 31 2013 @ Hampton Ntl. Historic Site, Towson, MD

* photo taken on July 11 2014 in Washington, DC

* photos taken on Apr 11 2015 @ Belmont Mansion, Elkridge, MD

* photos taken by Dr. Nick V. Kurzenko @ CalPhotos

* historical archive photos

* documentary found on Youtube




'Adpressa'
Bushy and rounded shrub to small tree.
Some records include: 10 years - 13 x 13 feet; largest on record - 52 x 30 feet with a trunk diameter of 31 inches.
Has short ( 0.5 inch ) leaves and red berries.

'Adpressa Fowle'
Similar to 'Adpressa' but slightly more hardy to zone 5 ( possibly even 4 on protected sites ).

'Adpressa Variegata'
Bushy and rounded shrub with short yellow-edged foliage and red berries.
Some records include: 10 years - 3.3 x 3.3 feet; largest on record - 23 x 6.5 feet with a trunk diameter of 13 inches.

Amersfoort'
A slow growing ( avg. 4 inches per year ), open erect shrub with short oval leaves, up to 0.3 inches. The mid-green foliage resembles some of the Podocarpus in appearance. Some records include: 10 years - 8 x 6.5 feet; largest on record - 10 feet. This Yew is among the best for making into small bonsai.

* excellent photo link found on internet
http://www.biolib.cz/en/taxonimage/id157490/?taxonid=2429&type=1

'Aurea' ( Golden English Yew )
Very dense and columnar to wide conical. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 1.5 feet; 10 years - 10 x 6.5 feet; largest on record - 57 x 25 feet with a trunk diameter of 2.6 feet.
The foliage is golden-yellow at first, turning lime-green later in summer.

* excellent photo link found on internet
http://www.biolib.cz/en/taxonimage/id32722/?taxonid=2429&type=1

'Cavendishii'
A low, spreading female form, reaching up to 3 x 13 feet.

'Dovastonii' ( Westerfelton Yew )
Horizontal, widespreading and tiered in habit with drooping branches and very deep green foliage. Some records include: 20 years - 17 x 20 feet; 221 years - trunk diameter of 4 feet; largest on record - 56 x 100 feet with a trunk diameter of 4.3 feet.
It is a female clone, having red berries.

'Dovastonii Aurea'
Similar to 'Dovastonii' but with leaves edged in yellow. Some records include: largest on record - 70 x 60 feet with a trunk diameter of 32 inches.

'Elegantissima'
Vigorous, dense & upright, with new foliage that is golden-yellow. Some records include: 10 years - 10 x 6.5 feet; largest on record - 17 x 17 feet.
It bears red berries, as it is a female clone.

'Fastigiata' ( Irish Yew )
Very vigorous & columnar in habit with very deep green foliage densely packed all around the shoots. Some records include: 10 years - 20 x 3.3 ( averaging 10 x 2 ) feet; 80 years - trunk diameter of 26 inches; largest on record - 64 x 17 feet with a trunk diameter of 57 inches. A female plants, it does bear red berries.

* photo taken on Aug 15 2014 @ Druid Hill Park, Baltimore, MD

* photo taken on Oct 21 2014 @ Smithsonian Inst., Washington, DC

* historical archive photos


'Fastigiata Aurea' ( Golden Irish Yew )
Similar to 'Fastigiata' except with golden-yellow foliage.

* photo of unknown internet source



'Hessei'
Some records include: 25 years - 22 feet with a trunk diameter of 19 inches.

'Lutea'
Narrow columnar with yellow foliage and orange fruits. Some records include: largest on record - 40 feet with a trunk diameter of 32 inches.

'Procumbens'
Some records include: largest on record - 9 x 18 feet.

'Repandens'
A flat topped, low, wide-spreading form with glossy deep green foliage and red berries. It is often clipped and selectively pruned and used for foundation plantings and as a high groundcover especially on shady sites. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 1 feet; 10 years - 5 x 10 feet; 35 years - 14 x 22 feet; largest on record - 14 x 40 feet.
Hardy north to zone 4 tolerating -33 F.

* photo taken on Feb 16 2012 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Jan 14 2013 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Apr 24 2013 in Columbia, MD
* photo taken on Sep 30 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Oct 21 2014 @ Smithsonian Inst., Washington, DC

* photo taken on Sep 16 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Mar 22 2017 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Aug 16 2017 in Columbia, MD

* historical archive photo


'Semperaurea'
Slow growing and ascending in habit with foliage that is orangish at first, turning to bright yellow, then to russet yellow during winter. Some records include: 10 years - 6.5 x 6.5 feet; largest on record - 27 x 27 feet. A male clone, it does not have berries.

* photo taken by Milan Havlis, owner of central Europe's premier plant nursery


'Standishii'
Very columnar and dense in habit, with bright golden-yellow foliage and red berries.
Some records include: fastest growth rate - 8 inches; 10 years - 6 x 1 foot; largest on record - 30 x 8 feet with a trunk diameter of 1 foot.

'Summergold'
Semi-prostrate with spreading branches bearing golden-yellow foliage. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 8 inches; 10 years - 3.3 x 10 feet; largest on record - 6.5 x 20 feet.

Taxus brevifolia ( Pacific Yew )
Native to moist, shady forest understories on the west Coast from Ketchikan, Alaska and the Queen Charlotte Islands south to central California. There is a separate population from Well Gray Provincial Park in eastern British Columbia; south into Idaho. It is a slow growing medium size evergreen tree to 75 feet with an open erect to conical crown. The branches are slightly drooping, giving the tree a graceful habit. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 2 feet; 10 years - 10 x 4 feet; largest on record - 140 x 35 feet with a trunk diameter of 8 feet. Very long-lived, the Pacific Yew is known to survive up to 1800 years.
The linear leaves, up to 1 ( rarely 2 ) inches long, are glossy bright green above, bright yellow-green beneath.
The fruits are red and berrylike encasing a seed.
The twigs are greenish turning to red-brown after one year.
The bark is red-brown tinged purplish and peeling into small, rectangular scales.
Taxol, which is a drug obtained from the bark, is used medically in treating ovarian, lung and breast cancer.
Hardy zones 5 to 8.

* photos taken by Jean Pawek @ CalPhotos

* historical archive photo


Taxus canadensis ( Canadian Yew )
A low spreading evergreen shrub, typically reaching around 3 feet that is native to wooded swamps in central and northeast North America ( from southeast Manitoba to Sandy Lake, Ontario to Moosonee, Ontario to much of Labrador and Newfoundland; south to northern Illinois to central Ohio to Virginia...isolated colonies also in Ashe & Watauga Co. in North Carolina ). Now extinct in the Windsor/Essex County, Ontario region; it occurred locally on rocky shores of the Lake Erie islands and the west beach of Point Pelee before 1900. It also occurred sporadically on the Ohio shore during that time. Some records include: 10 years - 4 x 3.3 feet; largest on record - 9 x 13 feet. There is a rare arboreal form that reaches up to 12 feet in height.
The linear leaves are deep green above, bright green beneath. The foliage often turns reddish-brown during winter.
The seed is covered in a fleshy red coat. Though Canadian Yew is not as toxic to eat as Taxus baccata, it is still not meant to be eaten.
The Canadian Yew can be harvested for Taxol which is used to treat various forms of cancer. It is much more abundant than the near-threatened Taxus brevifolia, and the new growth can be harvested sustainably every 5 years, instead of stripping the bark and killing the plant. In the future, it is hopeful that fast growing clones are introduced for agricultural production in the understory of the north woods.
Hardy zones 3 to 6 ( 2 on protected sites ) preferring moist soil in partial to full shade on a site sheltered from wind. It requires winter shade and is not heat or drought tolerant. Canadian Yew is very limestone tolerant. It should not be sheared but makes a great addition to the natural woodland landscape.

* photo taken on Feb 2009 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* photos of unknown internet source

* photo taken on June 23 2013 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* photo taken on Apr 17 2016 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* photos taken on July 14 2016 in Tobermory, ON


'Stricta'
More upright

Taxus chinensis ( Chinese Yew )
Also called Taxus celebica. A fast growing Chinese native, reaching an eventual size around 50 feet. Some records include: largest on record - 100 x 60 x 7 feet ( centuries old ); 10 years - 10 x 6 feet; 15 years - 17 feet; fastest growth rate - 3 feet.
Its stiff, up to 1.8 inch, sharp-pointed leaves are glossy deep green above and gray green below.
Though mostly unknown; this is by far the best Yew for the southern U.S. where it makes a great landscape tree and or screen. It is heat, sun and drought tolerant, and is far better adapted south of zone 7 than Taxus cuspidata. Hardy zone 6 to 9 ( 5 on sheltered sites ). It is easily grown from cuttings.

* photo taken @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C. on Feb 2009

* photos taken on Feb 8 2014 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC


Taxus cuspidata ( Japanese Yew )
Typically a spreading, medium-size tree after many decades, it is native from eastern Siberia to Sakhalin & the Kurile Islands; south to Manchuria, Korea & much of Japan. Some records include: 20 years - 20 x 13 feet ( faster growing than English Yew ); largest on record - 82 x 66 feet with a trunk diameter of 9 feet; largest in Pennsylvania - 47 x 55 x 3.5 feet. The Japanese Yew is extremely long lived, to over 1000 years, with even a few reaching 3000 years. The largest Japanese Yew in Ontario, Canada is reported to grow at Mt. Pleasant Cemetary in London, Ontario. It has reached 18 x 25 feet at zone 4b Dominion Arboretum in Ottawa, Canada.
The linear evergreen leaves, up to 1.6 ( rarely over 1 ) inches in length, are deep green above, yellow-green beneath. The short soft-tipped foliage contrasts well with small red berries. The foliage is not meant for use as livestock feed and small quantities can even kill a horse.
The shallowly-fissured bark is reddish-brown.
It is hardy from zone 4 - 9 and is known to survive -40 and grow as far north as Calgary & Edmonton, Alberta. There are many dwarf hybrids and cultivars used in the landscape. These include the Dense, Browns and Hicks Yews. However none of these come close to being as spectacular as a centuries old yew whether of the Japanese or European type. It is possible to Yews to live a thousand years.
The timber of Japanese Yew has been used for furniture and it can be sheared into a large hedge. It is tolerant of pollution and deep shade and also grows well in the city as long as not exposed to reflected sun glare of asphalt or massive quantities of road salt ( rules out use in most parking lots however a great tree for the back yard. This Yew grows very well in the eastern U.S. and Canada. It enjoys summers hotter and more humid than typically founded in western Europe ( use Taxus baccata instead there ) but is not as tolerant of subtropical summers as is Taxus chinensis ( use instead in the Deep South ).
The old fashion Yews will never go out of style however unfortunately deer also love it. If it is an area with bad deer problems, then the equally beautiful Cephalotaxus ( Plum Yews ) are more recommended. Over the years I seen many a Japanese yew or its cultivars in Howard County, MD and Ontario, Canada eaten to nothing.

* photo taken on 4 th of July 2010 @ Washington, D.C.

* photo taken on Feb 2009 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.

* photos of unknown internet source

* photo taken on Mar 2012 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on April 27 2012 in Columbia, MD
* photo taken on June 7 2012 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Nov 22 2013 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Feb 26 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Oct 21 2014 @ Smithsonian Inst., Washington, DC

* photo taken on Aug 24 2015 in Columbia, MD

* historic archive photo


'Aurescens'
Very slow growing and dwarf, reaching up to 3 x 7 feet in 20 years, 6 x 13 feet with great age.
The glossy foliage is orangish-yellow at first, later fading to yellow.

* photo taken on May 8 2010 @ McCrillis Gardens, Bethesda, MD

* photo taken on Feb 8 2015 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* photos taken on July 25 2015 @ Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario


'Capitata'
A strong growing pyramidal cultivar becoming a tree, reaching a maximum size up to 82 x 40 feet after many centuries ( though even a tree of 40 feet is rare ). It is often kept sheared so most trees will never reach anything close to full size.
The foliage is bright yellowish-green at first, turning to deep green.

* photo taken on April 5 2010 in Wilkes-Barre, PA

* photo taken on May 15 2013 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Sep 14 2013 in Columbia, MD


'Densa' ( Densiformis Yew )
compact dense female fruit bearing form to 6.6 x 10 feet in 20 years ( more often half that ) and eventually to 10 x 27 feet with great age. Often kept much smaller by shearing.
The foliage is deep green.

* photo taken on Mar 15 2013 in Columbia, MD
* photo taken on May 4 2013 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Oct 21 2014 @ Smithsonian Inst., Washington, DC

* photo taken on May 4 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on June 15 2017 in Columbia, MD


'Nana'
A dense spreading shrub with very dark green foliage. Some records include: 10 years - 4 x 6 feet; 20 years - 6.5 x 10 feet; largest on record - 27 x 25 feet with a trunk diameter of 3.3 feet.
It is fully hardy at Dominion Arboretum in Ottawa, Canada.

* historical archive photos


'Runyon'
Moderate growing, spreading shrub, reaching a maximum size of 12 x 16 feet.
Hardy to zone 4.

'Wardii'
Fast growing, dense and spreading, reaching up to 10 x 18 feet in 20 years; an an eventual maximum size of 16 x 33 feet.
The foliage is deep green.
It is slightly less hardy than the species, requiring a protected site in zones 4b Ottawa, Canada.

* photo taken on Aug 25 2013 @ University of Maryland, College Park

* photos taken on Oct 27 2016 in Columbia, MD


Taxus florida ( Florida Yew )
A small rounded tree native to northwest Florida where it is endangered. Some records include: 10 years - 5 x 4 feet; 28 years - 15 feet with a trunk diameter of 8 inches; largest on record - 50 x 20 feet with a trunk diameter of 1 foot.
The linear leaves are up to an inch in length, and the deep green foliage turns plum-bronze during winter.
The bark has Taxol which is used to treat cancer, however this tree is too rare to be of commercial value, faster growing, more common Taxus canadensis should be used instead.
Hardy from zone 4 to 9 preferring fertile, well drained soil. It is more heat tolerant than most Yews; however oddly it tends to grow much better north of its native range. It has been successfully grown in milder parts of England. It is somewhat easily grown from cuttings.

* photo taken on March 28 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.


* photos taken on Apr 17 2016 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* photo taken by W.D. Brush @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

* photos taken @ U.S. Botanical Garden, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014

* historic archive photo


Taxus globosa ( Mexican Yew )
A small tree native from Mexico to El Salvador. Some records include: largest on record - 50 feet with a trunk diameter of 20 inches.
The sharp pointed ( unusual for Yew ), linear leaves, up to 1.3 inches in length, are deep green.
Hardy zones 7 to 10.

Taxus x hunnewelliana ( Hunnewell Yew )
The hybrid between Taxus cuspidata & T. canadensis. It is a very dense, wide spreading shrub reaching a maximum size of 3.5 x 35 feet. Some records include: 40 years - 3 x 30 feet.
The foliage is deep green, even in winter, lasting up to 4 years.
Hardy zones 5 to 7 ( est...may be hardier )

Taxus mairei ( Maire Yew )
Native from southern China to se Asia; this Yew can become a dense, rounded tree to 50 x 50 feet. Some records include: trunk diameter - 4 feet.
The leaves are up to 1.5 inches long. The foliage is bright green at first, turning to glossy mid-green.
Hardy zones 6 to 9, very heat and tolerant, thriving in the southeastern U.S.

Taxus x media ( Hybrid Yew )
These are the hybrids between Taxus baccata & Taxus cuspidata. Most have linear dark olive green leaves and red berries. Hardy zones 5 to 9 ( tolerating -35F ).

* photo taken on July 26 2015 @ Niagara Parks Bot. Gardens, Niagara Falls, ON


'Brownii'
This Yew is dense & columnar when young becoming rounded in habit. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 2 feet; 10 years - 13 x 17 feet; 25 years - 33 feet; largest on record - 33 x 30 feet.
The foliage is deep green.
Hardy north to zone 4.

* photo taken on Aug 2 2011 in Wilkes-Barre, PA

* photo taken on Mar 15 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Apr 23 near Wilkes-Barre, PA

* historic archive photo


'Emerald Spreader'
A very dense, spreading shrub reaching a maximum size of 6 x 12 feet with great age, though only reaching up to 4 x 10 (rarely over 2.5 ) feet within 20 years.
The foliage is deep green.
Hardy zones 4 to 7.

* photo taken on May 10 2014 in Elkridge, MD


'Everlow'
Low and rounded, reaching up to 4 x 18 feet in 22 years and an eventual maximum size of 5 x 20 feet.
The foliage is bright green at first, later turning to deep green.

'Hatfield'
A dense, upright, male columnar to pyramidal form. Some records include: fastest growth rate - 2 feet; 20 years - 17 x 13 feet; largest on record - 33 x 36 feet ( most are sheared any never reach anything close to this ).
The foliage is deep green.

* photo taken on Nov 30 2013 in Luzerne Co., MD

* photos taken on July 1 2015 in Columbia, MD


'Hicksii'
Dense and columnar, usually slow though sometimes fast growing on ideal sites. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 3 feet; 10 years - 8 feet ( average ); 20 years - 27 x 10 feet; largest on record - 50 x 33 feet with a trunk diameter of 31 inches. The Hicks Yew is often kept sheared and never reach anything close to expected mature size which can take 100 years or more. They are popular for hedges.
The leaves, up to 1.2 inches long, are glossy, very deep green.
It is fully hardy in Ottawa, Canada but in zone 4b severe dessication can occur during winter on open sites in full sun.

* photo taken on May 4 2013 in Columbia, MD
* photo taken on May 15 2013 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Oct 31 2013 @ Hampton Ntl. Historic Site, Towson, MD

* photos taken on June 21 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Aug 27 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Sep 25 2016 near Reisterstown, MD

* photo taken on Jul 18 2017 @ Dominion Arboretum, Ottawa, ON


'Hill's Upright'
Also called 'Hillii'. Forms a moderate growing, dense, compact, upright,broadly-pyramidal shrub, reaching up to 10 x 7 feet in 10 years, eventually up to 20 x 18 feet. It is among the best Yews for screening.
The foliage is glossy deep green and keeps good green color during the winter.
It generally does not bear fruit.
Hardy zones 4 to 8

* photos taken on Aug 15 2013 in Ellicott City, MD

* photos taken on Feb 5 2013 in Ellicott City, MD

* photos taken on July 23 2014 in Ellicott City, MD

* photos taken on May 9 2015 in Ellicott City, MD

* photos taken on Dec 9 2015 in Ellicott City, MD

* photo taken on May 19 2017 in Ellicott City, MD


'Kelseyi'
Bushy, erect and abundantly fruiting even when young. Some records include: fastest growth rate - 2 feet; 20 years - 17 x 13 feet.
The leaves, up to 0.8 inches long, are very deep green.
It is moderately hardy at Dominion Arboretum in Ottawa, Canada having leaf burn after severe winters.

'Margarita'
A moderate growing, low, spreading, medium-sized shrub, reaching up to 5 x 7 feet.
The foliage is bright yellow at first, later turning to lime-green and generally does not burn unlike some other golden foliaged Yews.
Hardy zones 4 to 7.

'Maureen'
Slow growing ( up to 8 inches per year ), dense and columnar in habit, reaching up to 8 x 3 feet in 10 years, eventually slightly more.
The foliage remains luxuriant deep green all year.
Hardy zones 4 to 7

'Nigra'
A moderate growing, dense, spreading shrub, reaching up to 8 x 12 feet in 10 years. Some records include: 25 years - 37 x 15 feet.
The foliage is glossy blackish-green.
Hardy zones 4 to 7, the foliage is very resistant to windburn during winter.

Taxus sumatriana ( Sumatran Yew )
A fast growing, medium to large size tree native to Sumatra, the Phillipines, Taiwan, and the Celebes.
Some records include: 10 years - 10 x 6 feet; largest on record - 120 feet with a trunk diameter of 6.6 feet.
The leaves, up to an inch in length, are deep green. The foliage is more feathery and fine-textured than other Yews.
The bark is smooth and purplish-red.
Generally a tree of mountain forests in the subtropics, north to zone 8 ( there are reports of hardiness to zone 6 that have not been verified ).

Taxus wallichiana ( Himalayan Yew )
A fast growing, medium to large tree similar to Taxus chinensis but instead native to the Himalayas from Afghanistan to western Yunnan Province in China. Some records include: 24 years - 24 feet with a trunk diameter of 10 feet; largest on record - 100 x 80 feet with a trunk diameter of 5 feet. It is endangered in the wild.
The linear leaves are up to 1.2 inches in length.
Hardy zones 6 to 11 tolerating as low as -11 F. It is more drought tolerant than other yews.

* photo taken on Apr 24 2016 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC


TAXUS RELATIVES

Amentotaxus argotaenia ( Cathay Catkin Yew )
A rare, slow growing, small Yew-like tree reaching around 18 feet, that is native to central and southwest China where it is endangered. Some records include: 10 years - 4 x 3 feet; largest on record - 33 x 33 feet with a trunk diameter of 7 inches. It is highly valuable as a landscape plant for its elegant shape and attractive scarlet-red berries.
The glossy, deep green ( blue-white beneath ), linear leaves are up to 4.5 inches in length. The foliage resembles that of Cephalotaxus.
Hardy zones 5 to 8 in partial shade to full shade, preferring a soil PH from 4.5 to 5.5. It hates full sun but tolerates deep shade making it an excellent woodland understory plant.

Amentotaxus formosana ( Taiwan Catkin Yew )
Very similar to Amentotaxus argotaenia but is native as a forest understory plant in the mountains of Taiwan.
Hardy zones 6 to 9

Amentotaxus poilanei
A medium size tree native to limestone mountains in Vietnam where it is almost extinct. The largest on record is 66 feet.
Hardiness has not been tested in North America, likely zone 9

Amentotaxus yunnanensis ( Yunnan Catkin Yew )
A small Yew-like tree native to shady moist soil and limestone sites in Vietnam and Yunnan Province in China, where it is extremely endangered. Some records include: 10 years - 4 x 3 feet; largest on record - 50 x 40 feet with a trunk diameter of 1 foot.
The leathery linear leaves are up to 4 x 0.5 inches. The attractive Cephalotaxus-like foliage is glossy deep green.
Hardy zones 6 to 9 in partial to deep shade.

Pseudotaxus chienii ( White Berry Yew )
An extremely rare evergreen shrub to small tree that resembles Taxus but with spirally-arranged leaves on whorled branches. It is a rare native to eastern China and reaches up to 13 feet. Some records include: 10 years 4 x 3 feet. Endangered with extinction, it no longer reproduces in the wild.
The linear leaves are mid-green.
The new growth begins very early in spring.
The berries which are white, are only borne on female plants.
Hardy zones 7 to 9 in partial to full shade preferring somewhat dry, well drained conditions.

3 comments:

  1. Randy- can you help me identify a fab yew I have in my backyard. Have read the post, but still not sure which variety. I can send photos.
    Lynn

    ReplyDelete
  2. Randy- can you help me identify a fab yew I have in my backyard. Have read the post, but still not sure which variety. I can send photos.
    Lynn

    ReplyDelete
  3. If you are looking back at this post. Please do send some photos...as long as it is natural habit rather than sheared I should be able to ID it.

    ReplyDelete