English Yew Seeds

Taxus Baccata Seeds (English Yew Seeds)

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The fruits, with their bright arils, the fleshy covering over the seeds, look at first like small acorns, but they ripen into bright red berries. It is the seeds inside the fruit that is poisonous.

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Taxus Baccata is an evergreen tree of Europe, allied to the Pines, but having a peculiar berrylike fruit instead of a cone. These trees can live for many hundreds of years. Some old Yew trees are believed to be over 2000 years old. They can grow up to 15-25 feet tall in the wild. Many Yew trees have trunks formed by a coalescence of several stems, and they tend to become hollow when they grow old. Can be closely trimmed. If let go without trimming, it can become a very large bush. The wood of the Yew is light red in color, compact, fine-grained, and very elastic. The bark is very soft, branches or even the whole tree can be killed if the bark is removed. Plants produce very little fibrous root and should be planted in their final positions when still small. In early Spring the Yews can be seen in flower, and in late Summer the fruits appear. It is in leaf all year, in flower from March to April, and the seeds ripen from September to November. Fine-textured needles are 1/2 to 1 inch long, dark green on top and tinged yellowish beneath, usually arranged in two rows along the twigs, making a flat or V-shaped spray. The flowers are dioecious, individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant, and the red fruits are produced only by female plants. The red berry-like cones are very conspicuous and may persist on the branches well into Winter. The fruit is produced mainly on the undersides of one-year old branches. The fruits, with their bright arils, the fleshy covering over the seeds, look at first like small acorns, but they ripen into bright red berries. It is the seeds inside the fruit that is poisonous. Hardiness zone 6, (-5°F/ -20°C) in Winter. A very cold hardy plant when dormant, tolerating temperatures down to about -20°C. A very easy plant to grow, it is extremely tolerant of cold and heat, sunny and shady positions. Thrives in almost any soil, acid or alkaline, as long as it is well-drained. Grows well in a medium loamy soil. It requires dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerates strong winds and atmospheric pollution.
Label Taxus baccata
Common name English Yew
Family No
Genus Taxus
Species Taxus baccata
Cultivar No
Therapeutic uses No
Germination For faster germination, soak the seeds in slightly hot water for 24-48 hours, followed by 3 months of cold stratification before sowing at 3/4" deep in your soil mixture. Any planting out is best done in late Spring or early Summer, after the last expected frosts. Keep damp soil, not soaking wet. Keep pot in warm situation 68-75°F. Germination can take several months. It can be a lot more depending on their degree of unbroken dormancy, don't give up.
Scarification / Stratification This will break their dormancy. It creates a cold and moist environment for the seeds. Mixed in seeds with slightly moistened vermiculite or peat, only damp in a ziplock bag. Close zip bag shut and store it in the salad crisper compartment of your refrigerator. If any seeds begin to sprout during the cold stratification, simply remove the seed and plant.

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