Taxus sp.

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Name and publication

Taxus sp. (L.) Sp. Pl. 2: 1040 (1753).


Taxus spp. (yews) are generally morphologically quite similar and are usually separated into species based on geographical distribution or microscopic morphological characters. Yews have flat, dark green leaves, 1-4 cm long, 2-3 mm wide; apex soft-pointed, mucronate, not sharp to touch; arranged spirally on the stem; leaves bases twisted to align leaves in two flat rows on either side of stem.

Nativity and distribution

Taxus spp. in their native habitat are generally restricted to the Northern Hemisphere, including North America, Europe, North Africa, and Asia. They are commonly cultivated all over the world, and there are hundreds of cultivars.