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. Yews 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.
All Common Names:
Tree or Plant Type:
- Evergreen (foliage year-round)
- Mixed border,
- Small tree (15-25 feet),
- Large shrub (more than 8 feet)
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
- Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily),
- Full shade (4 hrs or less of light daily)
- Zone 3,
- Zone 4,
- Zone 5 (Chicago),
- Zone 6,
- Zone 7
- Acid soil,
- Dry soil,
- Moist, well-drained soil
- Dry sites,
- Occasional drought,
- Clay 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:
Shape or Form:
Size & Form
There are many yew cultivars that vary considerably in size and habit.
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
Crosses 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, 1/2 to 1 inch long
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.