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Taxus brevifolia

Pacific Yew


In Stock: 0.192 lb (Total:0.192lb)
  • Taxus brevifolia

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0.19 lb
Taxus brevifolia


Germination test:
Seeds per lb:
0.19 lb
Collected in:
Crop year:
Min. hardiness zone:
Item ID:

Growing Info

Scarification: Soak in water, let stand in water for 24 hours
Stratification: warm stratify for 150 days, then cold stratify for 120 days
Germination: sow seed 3/8" deep , tamp the soil, mulch the seed bed

Other: Sporadic germination may occur over a 2-3 year period 

Taxus brevifolia, also known as the Pacific yew or western yew, is a small to medium-sized evergreen tree native to the Pacific Northwest of North America. It grows up to 15 meters tall with a trunk up to 50 cm in diameter and has thin scaly brown bark. The most exciting aspect of this tree is that modern research has shown that it contains the substance 'taxol' in its shoots and bark, which has shown potential as an anti-cancer drug. While the Pacific yew was never commercially harvested because of its endangered status, paclitaxel (taxol) is now produced through a semi-synthetic pathway from extracts of cultivated yews of other species. Traditionally, the wood of this tree was used by Native Americans to make bows, paddles, and other daily items. The Pacific yew grows in varying types of environments but is mostly limited to stream side habitats in dry environments, whereas in moist environments, it will grow up onto slopes and ridgetops. It is shade tolerant, allowing it to form an understory and grow along streams providing shade to maintain water temperature. The seed cones contain a single seed partly surrounded by a modified scale which develops into a soft, bright red berry-like structure called an aril, eaten by thrushes and other birds, which disperse the hard seeds undamaged in their droppings. The Pacific yew is an essential element of the Pacific Northwest's eco-system, but because of its highly endangered status, it is necessary to keep a significant focus on conservation and protection of this unique plant species.

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