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Taxus canadensis Marsh.
Canada yew, American yew
USDA Symbol: TACA7
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
American yew is a low, straggling shrub or ground cover, 3-6 ft. tall and twice as wide, with flat, narrow needles that are dark green above and pale green below. Evergreen foliage takes on a reddish-brown tint in winter. Spreading limbs ascend at the tips. Bright-red, berry-like fruit grows at the tips of the branches.
The Canada Yew is a member of the family Taxaceae which includes trees and sometimes shrubs, slightly aromatic and resinous, without flowers or fruit; mostly in northern temperate regions. About 20 species worldwide, including 4 native tree and 1 shrub species in North America in the genera yew (Taxus) and torreya (Torreya).
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Shrub Leaf:
Green Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May
CT , IA , IL , IN , KY , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , TN , VA , VT , WI , WV Canada: MB
, PE Native Distribution:
Nf. to s.e. Man., s. to VA & TN, n. IL & n.e. IA USDA Native Status: L48(N), CAN(N),
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry , Moist
Soil pH: Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Moist sands or sandy loams.
Conditions Comments: Needs protection from winter sun and wind, heat or drought. Pest free.
Yew seeds are slow to germinate – natural germination not taking place until the second year. Most yews root readily from cuttings taked from Oct. to Jan. Cuttings benefit from hormone treatment and will take up to 3 months to root. Seed Collection:
Fruits ripen in late summer or fall. Each scarlet fruit
contains a single, fleshy seed which can be extracted by macerating the fruit
in water and floating off the pulp. Seed Treatment:
Seed dormancy can be broken by warm plus cold stratification. Commercially Avail:
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Record Modified: 2012-07-10
Research By: TWC Staff