All parts are toxic. See Notes.
Usually seen as an ornamental shrub, but may grow as a tree up to 12.2 meters (40ft). Bark is reddish-brown and peely. Needle-like leaves are arranged in narrow spirals. Leaves are glossy, dark green. Fruits are berry-like, spherical, and red.
Found mostly as an ornamental hedge or bush, but may be found in the wild near old plantings.
Uses and Parts Used
Bark and Leaves
Bark and leaves contain paclitaxel, a widely marketed chemotherapy drug. Similarly, the pitch of the English Yew was once used to treat cancer.
Sales of paclitaxel exceed $1 billion every year. All parts of the English Yew are fatally toxic. American Indians tipped fishing spears with Yew toxin.