chrisbrooks's picture

Yew

Observed: 25th November 2012 By: chrisbrooks
Sea Fish AtlasSeaKeys
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Yew
Yew
Description:
Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Yew (Taxus baccata) interacts

Comments

Rachy Ramone's picture

Wow!

Fabulous photos! Wish I could take photos that clear, that close!

There are two main types of Yew that you would find in the UK, T. baccata (English) which is the one you find in hedges, topiary and churchyards: and T. baccata 'Fastigiata' (Irish) the upright one. It's a little hard to tell from photos just of the branch... generally Fastigiata leaves are slightly curly at the tips, and they are arranged spirally, rather than looking as though someone has combed them into a parting along the branch.

From your photos, I'd almost incline towards Fastigiata, but I'm not strong on ID from photos - I find it really difficult!

As a point of interest, nearly all Fastigiata are female, and therefore have those red fruits: but they don't usually come true from seed, as there are very few male plants to pollinate them. Pollination from a normal Yew generally results in normal Yew seedlings.

Fascinating stuff, eh?

Rachy Ramone

How to take close-ups with cheap phone and hand-lens:
http://tree-and-shrub-id.blogspot.co.uk/p/how-to-close-ups.html
Field Guides for Budding Botanists:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B01A8YB0WY

markwilson's picture

yew

The red fleshy "fruit" is something called an aril.
There is even a Wikipedia article - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aril.
The aril is the only (?) part of the Yew that is not poisonous and is rather sweet tasting

Rachy Ramone's picture

Arils

Yes, I thought I'd waffled on for long enough and wouldn't digress onto the advisability or otherwise of eating the arils!

You are correct, all other parts are poisonous to some degree - leaf, stem, bark, root: errr, not sure about the sap, actually, but I would not take the risk.

I have known people who swear that they regularly collect the fruit, strip off the arils and eat them, with no ill effect.

I would not care to try it, myself.

Rachy Ramone

How to take close-ups with cheap phone and hand-lens:
http://tree-and-shrub-id.blogspot.co.uk/p/how-to-close-ups.html
Field Guides for Budding Botanists:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B01A8YB0WY

markwilson's picture

yew

Have done so once - still here

markwilson's picture

yew berries

Have just put a "droppings" picture in "mammals" apparently fox with loads of partly digested "fruits"