American Yew - (Canada) - Taxus canadensis
Native Shrubs ... in wildlife
West Virginia Native Plant Society
West Virginia Nongame Wildlife Program
||Low straggling shrub often having
widespread horizontal limbs, to 5 feet tall.
||Evergreen, needles are green above and
below, about 1 inch long, sharp pointed and stalked with
a base that continues down the side of the smooth twig.
||The berrylike fruit is an aril which is
a juicy, scarlet red fleshy cuplike dish surrounding a
single seed which is poisonous.
- Scattered in northern and high mountain counties of
Fayette, Greenbrier, Hancock, Marion, Mercer, Mineral,
Pendleton, Pocahontas, Preston, Randolph, Summers,
Taylor, Tucker and Wetzel.
- Natural Habitat:
- Cool, shady woods at high elevations or low elevations in
deep cold ravines.
- Wildlife Use:
- Deer will browse yew to the point of destroying the
shrubs. Rabbits also browse yew. The fruits are eaten by
grouse, cedar waxwings, robins, bluejays and squirrels.
The dense evergreen foliage provides excellent shelter
and nest sites for rodents, chipmunks, and ground
- Uses: Foundation plantings or ground
cover for northern exposures, shady moist ravines or wet
Light: Heavy to partial shade.
Soil Moisture: Wet to moist loamy soils.
Soil pH: Slightly acid to slightly
Problems: Seeds and wilted foliage
poisonous to livestock. Red fruits contain poisonous
seeds and are attractive to children.
Compiled by: William N. Grafton, naturalist,
botanist and wildlife specialist, West Virginia University,
Morgantown, West Virginia
Written by West Virginia Native Plant Society
members and jointly published with the WV Nongame Program
Illustration from Flora of West Virginia,
Strausbaugh and Core