Plant of the Week: Shrub Yew

Shrub Yew, Taxus

4-20 feet tall and wide depending on variety

Part to Full Shade

Deep green needles and small, non showy red berries

Perennial, evergreen shrub

We are always looking for good shade plants for our landscapes and this evergreen is one of the best.  With a hardyness zone going all the way to 2 for some varieties you can be sure this plant will do just fine in Minnesota’s long, harsh winter.  With dense, dark green foliage these look great in a hedge or just trim it back now and then and let it’s natural shape take over.  From tall upright forms to low and sprawling there is surely a yew to fit any space.

One caution with this plant is that it is poisonous!  They are not recommended for homes with small children or pets.

Fun Fact:  Yews are all over in ancient lore.  The oldest yews are thousands of years old!  Due to their long life and poisonous nature they are often used in ancient mythology to symbolize death and are referred to in Gaelic, Celtic, and Scottish lore.  They also have a very close knit wood grain and make great, sturdy furniture.

By: Erica