Information on tree species

Taxus baccata

Taxus baccata L.

Family: Taxaceae

Common Name: Yew

A tree native to Europe, northern Africa, and the Caucasus region, characterized by slow growth and remarkable longevity (millennial specimens are known). The mature female cones bear a single seed partially enclosed by a fleshy, edible red structure called an aril. The aril is the only part of the plant that is not toxic, allowing for seed dispersal by birds. All other parts of this plant, however, contain taxine and taxol, highly toxic substances that are used in specific dosages for the production of chemotherapic drugs. Currently, Taxus baccata is widely used for ornamental purposes in parks and gardens. In the past, the durable and flexible wood of this plant was primarily used for making bows.

Taxus baccata