Scarification: Soak in water, let stand in water for 24 hours
Stratification: warm stratify for 90 days +, cold stratify for 60 days +
Germination: sow seed 3/8" deep, keep moist, mulch the seed bed, cover seedbed with some shade, can be sown outdoors in the fall for spring germination
Other: Sporadic germination may occur over a 2-3 year period
Taxus cuspidata, also known as Japanese Yew or Spreading Yew, is a slow-growing evergreen tree or large shrub native to Japan, Korea, northeast China and the extreme southeast of Russia. It is widely used for hedges, foundation and bank plantings, and similar purposes and can be pruned to grow as a tree. This plant prefers moist, well-drained soil, and tolerates shade well. It has yellow-green new growth, which later turns to a rich dark green, and features red berries. It is the parent of many cultivars and can live up to 1,000 years. Taxol, a substance found in the shoots and bark of the yew tree, has shown exciting potential as an anti-cancer drug, particularly in the treatment of ovarian cancers. However, the plant contains a group of chemicals known as taxine alkaloids, making it highly toxic. The entire plant, except for the fleshy berry, is toxic and ingestion can cause symptoms such as dizziness, abdominal pain, and an irregular heartbeat. It should only be used under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. Despite its toxicity, Taxus cuspidata is widely grown in eastern Asia and eastern North America as an ornamental plant.