English Yew

English Yew is a coniferous tree. It is also known as common yew or European Yew. This evergreen tree belongs to the Taxaceae family which is widely distributed throughout Europe and Asia. These trees are slow-growing and can live a very long time. Some trees are estimated to be more than 3,000 years old.

They can grow up to 25 meters tall and their crown becomes domed over time. They have small, narrow, linear, glossy and dark green leaves that can grow up to 4 centimeters. The seeds of these trees are very poisonous.

Quick Facts: –

  • The scientific name of the English Yew is Taxus baccata.
  • These trees are best grown in sunny to partly shady locations.
  • The trunks of these trees are often fluted with their bark reddish brown in color and flaking.
  • Being evergreen trees, they attract ravens as they nest in February and require shelter.
  • The seeds of these trees are dispersed by bird species that get attracted by the red , juicy and sweet aril.
  • The wood of these trees is flexible and a hard softwood. It is suitable for woodworking.
  • Yew trees are known to contain a chemical called taxol. Taxol has been found to have anti-cancer properties.
  • It was believed by the Romans that these trees grew in hell.
  • They are native to an area stretching from central Europe to the Caucasus.