taxus bacata

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the yew, taxaceae is of a genus of 5-10 species and one of those that reminds me firmly and almost immediately of the ‘ye olde’ type style gardens. In fact I’ve yet to meet one without. Most commonly famed for its use in hedging or topiary, they are evergreen, berry producing plants that are listed as listed [all parts] as ‘toxic’ [if ingested]. For that reason, they can often take a back seat when it comes to garden design.

The reality is they are amazing. They make great back drop,are really hardy, require very little maintenance and look super all year round. They can [says the reference books] grow to 70′ tall…. but I wouldn’t let that put you off… it won’t be in my life time 😉

2 replies
  1. Monk Zymurgy
    Monk Zymurgy says:

    The needles, bark and seeds are indeed poisonous. The red fleshy part (the aril) of the berry is quite edible, and is incredibly sweet and delicious. The hard seed held inside the berry is bitter and poisonous, although if it is swallowed whole will most likely pass through and not cause harm. So you can eat the berries, just be sure to spit the seeds without chewing them.

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