Scientific Name: Taxus floridana
Family Name: Taxaceae
Tree: Florida Yew can grow to be 13 20 ft. (4 6 m.), and its trunk diameter is 1 ft. (.3 m.). It is most commonly found as a low decorative bush, but in the wild, it will grow as a tree. Florida Yew bark is extremely shredded, and brown to purple in color.
Fruit: Separate bushes with female fruit and male cones. The fruit are dull red berry casing ½ in. (1.2 cm.) in diameter, with a brown seed inside, and the cones are pale yellow 1/8 in. (3 mm.) in diameter.
Identifying Characteristics: The red berries growing on the Yew identify it.
Location: Many Florida Yews grow on the Brandeis University campus as decorative shrubs. The Yew pictured here grows behind Renfield Residence Hall.
History and Comments: Florida Yew is a native of Florida, but it is widely planted as a decorative shrub. Its seeds and needles are very poisonous (although not the red berry casing), and can be fatal for people and livestock.