Yew (Taxus baccata)

Why it’s in the garden

Yew contains the compound paclitaxel. Under the name Taxol, it is used in the treatment of several cancers including lung, ovarian and metastatic breast cancer.

Red Yew Berries on brank of yew tree
Chemical Structure: Piclitaxel
Chemical Structure: Piclitaxel


Small evergreen trees with dense, linear leaves, insignificant flowers and, on female plants, conspicuous fleshy red arils surrounding the solitary seeds

Care and Maintenance

The yew we have planted are a very slow growing, columnar form and over 50 years will only reach a maximum height of 1.5m and width of 1m. They will need minimum attention other than occasional pruning to keep them tidy