TREES & plants

Anglo-Japanese yew

Medium green leaves of Anglo-Japanese yew

Anglo-Japanese yew is a very popular hybrids between English and Japanese yew species often used as specimens, foundation plants, in groups, or sheared as a hedge. They tend to be fairly narrow when young, becoming wider with age. They are hardy and resilient, tolerant of urban conditions and are one of the few evergreens that can tolerate heavy shade. They also can stand severe pruning and shearing. Be aware that the leaves, seeds, and bark of all yews are poisonous.

This plant has some cultivated varieties. Go to list of cultivars.

Botanical name: 
Taxus media
All Common Names: 
Ango-Japanese yew, Anglojap yew, English yew, Japanese yew
Family (English): 
Family (Botanic): 
Tree or Plant Type: 
  • Shrub, 
  • Tree
  • Evergreen (foliage year-round)
Native Locale: 
  • Non-native
Landscape Uses: 
  • Foundation, 
  • Hedge, 
  • Mixed border, 
  • Screen, 
  • Specimen
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 (Chicago), 
  • Zone 6, 
  • Zone 7
Soil Preference: 
  • Acid soil, 
  • Dry soil, 
  • Moist, well-drained soil
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, 
  • 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

Can tolerate full shade but growth will be less dense.
Best in sheltered location; winter winds can dry plants, causing dieback.
Prefers a 
well -drained soil. Shallow root system benefits with a layer of mulch
Keep pruned to control size of plants near buildings 
Will not tolerate wet conditions

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.
Needles short-stalked

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

Fleshy red berries (aril) surround a hardbrown seed. These are 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 yew (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 yew (Taxus x media ‘Chadwickii’ ): grows to 2 to 3 feet high and 3 to 4 feet wide, with a low, spreading habit. 

Densi yew (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 yew (Taxus x media ‘Everlow’): grows 11/2 to 2 feet high and 3 to 4 feet wide with a low, spreading habit.

Hicksii yew (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 yew(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 yew (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 yew (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. 



Taxus media or Anglo-Japanese yew