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Pacific Yew
Taxus brevifolia
About Pacific Yew (Taxus brevifolia) Nurseries Show All Photos Taxus brevifolia (Pacific Yew or Western Yew) is a conifer native to the Pacific Northwest of North America. It ranges from southernmost Alaska south to central California, mostly in the Pacific Coast Ranges, but with an isolated disjunct population in southeast British Columbia, most notably occurring on Zuckerberg Island near Castlegar and south to central Idaho. It is a small to medium-sized evergreen tree, growing 10-15 meter tall and with a trunk up to 50 centimeter diameter, rarely more. In some instances, trees with heights in excess of 20 meteroccur in parks and other protected areas, quite often in gullies. The tree is extremely slow growing, and has a habit of rotting from the inside, creating hollow forms. This makes it difficult to impossible to make accurate rings counts to determine a specimens true age. Often damaged by succession of the forest, it usually ends up in a squat, multiple leader form.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
8 - 59 ft (2.4 - 18 m)


Growth Rate


Flowering Season

Native Status

Natural Setting
Part Shade

Elevation ?
66' - 14090'

Annual Precip. ?
18.9" - 154.7"

Summer Precip. ?
0.20" - 5.86"

Coldest Month ?
10.8° F - 50.5° F

Hottest Month ?
34.1° F - 75.1° F

Humidity ?
0.01 vpd - 24.01 vpd

Soil Description
Prefers loamy soils

Sunset Zones ?
1, 2*, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7*, 14, 15*, 16*, 17*, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24*

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

Propagation ?
For propagating by seed: No treatment. Sow in early summer. Very slow germination (USDA Forest Service 1974).

Nursery Availability
Rarely Available

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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