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Trees of Wisconsin

Taxus canadensis Marshall
American yew
Family: Taxaceae

Yew Shrub Yew Branch Yew Branch Yew Leaf Yew Cone Yew Cone Yew Bark
shrub branch branch leaf female cone female cone bark

Among the woody species growing outside of cultivation in Wisconsin, Taxus canadensis can be recognized by the shrubby growth form and the singly-attached, strongly flattened leaves with sharp tips. Like Abies and Tsuga the needles are attached all around the twigs in spirals, but they are bent around so that they appear to be mostly in a single plane, extending laterally to either side of the twig, but not from the top or bottom. The female cones are highly modified red, fleshy, berry-like structures. The only similar species is T. cuspidata, but it has broader leaves and is strictly horticultural.

Taxus canadensis is a northern species, the main portion of its distribution ranging from northern Minnesota to Newfoundland and south to Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. In Wisconsin it is most common in the north, but it is also found locally in the southwest and at scattered locations in the east. Taxus canadensis has declined dramatically in Wisconsin, due apparently in large part to overbrowsing by deer.


WI Distribution Map


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