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Featured Plant

 

Taxus

 

While the yews are very closely related, and some botanists place them all under one species, it is more common to differentiate them. Taxus baccata, or English yew is commonly grown in Maryland, especially the cultivar ‘Repandens.' Taxus brevifolia, Pacific yew, is native to the Pacific Northwest, and was the original source of Taxol, a drug used to treat cancer. Other commonly found species are Canada yew, or Taxus canadensis, Japanese yew, or Taxus cuspidata, and Taxus xmedia, a cross between Taxus baccata and Taxus cuspidata.

 

On our own campus, the Taxus baccata at the southeast corner of Reckord Armory is the Prince George’s County Champion English yew.

 

To develop the above description, we used many sources, including Michael Dirr’s Manual of Woody Landscape Plants (Champaign, Illinois: Stipes Publishing, LLC, 1998), and the following websites: Dendrology at Virginia Tech (dendro.cnre.vt.edu/dendrology/main.htm), the University of Connecticut Plant Database (www.hort.uconn.edu/plants/), Wikipedia (www.wikipedia.org), and the Ancient Yew Group (www.ancient-yew.org).

 








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