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Description for Taxus baccata
Taxus are small evergreen trees or large shrubs of rounded habit, with dense, linear leaves, insignificant flowers and, on female plants, conspicuous fleshy red arils surrounding the solitary seeds. It is a medium-sized bushy evergreen tree with narrow, leathery, very dark green leaves arranged in two rows on the shoots, and insignificant flowers followed on female plants by fleshy red fruits.
Yew wood is reddish brown (with whiter sapwood), and is very springy. It was traditionally used to make bows, especially the longbow. Yews are widely used in landscaping and ornamental horticulture.
All parts, except the flesh of the berries, contain taxin(e) a complex of alkaloids which is rapidly absorbed. Also present are ephedrine, a cyanogenic glycoside (taxiphyllin) and a volatile oil. Though the berries are harmless, the seed within is highly toxic. Unbroken it will pass through the body without being digested but if the seed is chewed poisoning can occur with as few as three berries.
Planting and care
Caring for Taxus baccata
Typical uses of Taxus baccata
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