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TREES & plants

Anglo-Japanese yew

This name covers a number of very popular hybrids between English and Japanese yew species that have many purposes in the landscape. These shrubs often are used as specimens, foundation plants, in groups, or sheared as a hedge.  Hardy and resilient, yews are very tolerant of urban conditions and are unusual among evergreens in that they can tolerate heavy shade. They also can stand severe pruning and shearing, which most evergreens cannot. Ango-Japanese yews tend to be fairly narrow when young, becoming wider with age.  The needles are a lustrous dark green above and pale green beneath. The dark green of yews makes a fine background for other plants. Be aware that the leaves, seeds, and bark of all yews are poisonous.

Botanical name: 
Taxus x media
All Common Names: 
Ango-Japanese yew, Anglojap yew, English yew, Japanese yew
Family (English): 
Family (Botanic): 
Tree or Plant Type: 
  • Shrub
  • Tree
Native Locale: 
  • Non-native
Landscape Uses: 
  • Specimen
  • Hedge
  • Foundation
  • Mixed border
  • Screen
Size Range: 
  • Small tree (15-25 feet)
  • Large shrub (more than 8 feet)
Light Exposure: 
  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
  • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
  • Full shade (4 hrs or less of light daily)
Hardiness Zones: 
  • Zone 3
  • Zone 4
  • Zone 5
  • Zone 6
  • Zone 7
Soil Preference: 
  • Acid soil
  • Dry soil
  • Moist, well-drained soil
  • Evergreen (foliage year-round)
Season of Interest: 
  • Early winter
  • Mid winter
  • Late winter
  • Early spring
  • Mid spring
  • Late spring
  • Early summer
  • Mid summer
  • Late summer
  • Early fall
  • Mid fall
  • Late fall
Flower Color & Fragrance: 
  • Inconspicuous
Shape or Form: 
  • Mounded
  • Spreading
  • Upright
Growth Rate: 
  • Slow
More Information: 


There are many cultivars that vary considerably in size and habit and have different uses. If left unpruned, many yews can grow into substantial trees, up to 40 feet high. Some cultivars have been bred to stay compact.

Tree & Plant Care

Keep pruned to control size of plants near buildings 

Will not tolerate wet conditions.

Can tolerate full shade but growth will be less dense.

Best in sheltered location; winter winds can dry plants, causing dieback.

Disease, pests, and problems

root rot, black vine weevil, scale

Native geographic location and habitat

Cross between species native to Europe and Eastern Asia.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Glossy needles arranged flat on either side of branch; dark green above, lime green below.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

Red berries, actually modified cones, borne in fall on female plants. Most nurseries do not sell yews with the sex known.  Fruit are poisonous.

Cultivars and their differences


Brownii (Taxus x media ‘Brownii’) grows to 6 to 8 feet high and 6 to 9 feet wide. Dark green, dense foliage. Male clone does not yield fruit.

Chadwickii (Taxus x media ‘Chadwickii’ ) grows to 2 to 3 feet high and 3 to 4 feet wide, with a low, spreading habit. 

Densiformis (Taxus x media ‘Densiformis’) grows to 3 to 4 feet high and 4 to 6 feet wide. Dense, wide, spreading shrub.  Female clone, so fruit will be produced.

Everlow (Taxus x media ‘Everlow’) grows 1 to 2 feet high and 3 to 4 feet wide with a low, spreading habit.

Hicksii (Taxus x media 'Hicksii') grows to 6 to 8 feet high and 3 to 5 feet wide, a large shrub with a tall, narrow, columnar habit. May be male or female.

Tauntonii (Taxus x media ‘Tauntonii’) grows 3 to 4 feet high and 4 to 6 feet wide, with a spreading habit. Especially resistant to desiccation and dieback from winter sun and winds. Relatively salt-tolerant. Glossy, flattened, slightly leathery, dark-green needles.

Viridis (Taxus x media ‘Viridis’) grows to 10 to 12 feet high and 1 to 2 feet wide. Verry narrow, columnar form. New needles are yellow-green and twisted, maturing to a medium green.

Wardii (Taxus x media ‘Wardii’) grows to 6 to 8 feet high and 15 to 20 feet wide, a very large shrub with a wide, spreading habit, becoming flat-topped with age.