Shrubs of Wisconsin

Taxus cuspidata Sieb and Zucc.
Japanese Yew
Family: Taxaceae
not native
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Taxus cuspidata is strictly a cultivated species in Wisconsin. It does not escape from cultivation and is found only where it has been planted. It is included in the list of gymnosperms because it is a very common horticultural species in Wisconsin and because it (along with Pinus nigra, Pseudotsuga menziesii and Picea pungens) is a useful addition to the small list of native species of gymnosperms, for teaching purposes. It is a shrub with singly-attached needles that are strongly flattened, sharp-pointed and arranged mostly in one plane. It has slightly wider leaves than the very similar Taxus canadensis, which is a native species of mostly northern habitats and is seldom or never cultivated.

Taxus cuspidata is widely planted, mostly as a yard tree in urban settings where it is often used in a hedge-like form around houses. In its natural setting (east Asia) it can be tree sized, but the numerous cultivars are mostly shrubby. The red berry-like cones are very conspicuous and may persist on the branches well into winter.

known Wisconsin distribution


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