Plant DetailShow Menu

Chinese Yew Taxus chinensis

Other plants called Chinese Yew:

Phonetic Spelling
TAKS-us chi-NEN-sis
This plant has high severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

The species was discovered by Scotsman, Augustine Henry in China around 1885-1886.  The word chinensis refers to China.  

If you are looking for an interesting evergreen for your landscape, Chinese yew, in the Taxaceae family, may be the answer. This small evergreen tree somewhat resembles a hemlock but grows only 10 feet in height.  A specimen just outside the lath house at the JC Raulston Arboretum at North Carolina State University is still performing magnificently after many years. You may actually be familiar with many other members of this family of trees but perhaps don’t realize it.  Known by the common name of yews, they can be tree form, shrub-like, dwarf or prostrate in habit.  Whatever the shape, all yews are narrow-leaved evergreens with needles about an inch long in two ranks that are spirally arranged along the green twigs. This tree is easy to root from cuttings, responds well to pruning, and is tolerant of heat, drought, sun and shade. 

In its native country, it is used for construction, furniture building and wood carving.  It is considered to be endangered, as it's stems and bark are harvested on a commercial basis for the treatment of cancer.  However, propagation has increased to meet the demand.  

Grown for foliage. The fruits of the Chinese yew are most distinctive. The yew produces a fleshy berry about the size of a pea and is open on one end to reveal a single, hard seed inside.

VIDEO Created by Elizabeth Meyer for "Trees, Shrubs and Conifers" a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Leaf blight and fungal diseases can be an issue.  It is a host plant for the walnut root lesion nematode.

More information on Taxus.

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#small tree#poisonous#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#shrub#needles#conifer#bonsai#shade garden#winter interest#cpp#needled evergreen#needled#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#tree
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#small tree#poisonous#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#shrub#needles#conifer#bonsai#shade garden#winter interest#cpp#needled evergreen#needled#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#tree
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Taxus
    Species:
    chinensis
    Family:
    Taxaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    China
    Wildlife Value:
    Birds eat the seeds.
    Play Value:
    Buffer
    Easy to Grow
    Textural
    Wildlife Food Source
    Edibility:
    Red arils in small amounts are edible, seeds, bark, leaves are poisonous.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 10 ft. 0 in. - 10 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 10 ft. 0 in. - 15 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Poisonous
    Shrub
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Ascending
    Pyramidal
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    12-24 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5b, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    The fruits are a fleshy berry about the size of a pea. One end of the berry has an opening where its single seed can be observed.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Leathery
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Needles
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    The convex needles are flat, range in color from dark green, yellow-green to bronze.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Dark Gray
    Red/Burgundy
    Surface/Attachment:
    Exfoliating
    Bark Description:
    The bark is thin and exfoliates in strips or flakes. The color ranges from reddish to purple brown to gray.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Round
    Stem Description:
    The thin stems are grooved along the leaf bases.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Patio
    Walkways
    Landscape Theme:
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Barrier
    Screen/Privacy
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Songbirds
    Problems:
    Poisonous to Humans
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    High
    Poison Symptoms:
    Nervousness, trembling, slow pulse, pupil dilation, difficult breathing, seizures (dogs), abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, convulsions; may be fatal Early signs: muscular tremors, dyspnea, seizures in dogs.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Alkaloid taxine
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Bark
    Leaves
    Seeds