Page author: Don Knoke
Taxus brevifolia
Pacific yew, western yew
WTU specimens
Other herbaria

Distribution: Alaska to California, east to northern Idaho and northeast Oregon

Habitat: Open to deep, usually moist forests, sea level to mid-elevations in the mountains

Cones: September - October

Origin: Native

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Shrub-like, dioecious tree mostly 5-10 m. tall, the trunk often contorted, the branches spreading or drooping.


The bark very thin, consisting of purplish scales covering the reddish or reddish-purple inner bark.


Leaves 2-ranked, 14-18 mm. long and 1-2 mm. wide, yellow-green, paler on the lower surface, tipped with a sharp, slender point.


Staminate cones yellowish, globose, about 3 mm. long; stamens 6-14 in a tight cluster, surrounded by several small bracts, projecting above the branch; ovule solitary in the leaf axils, terminal and on the lower side of a short, scaly branch, subtended by 2 pairs of bracts, at maturity surrounded by a fleshy, reddish disc, appearing berry-like.

Accepted Name:
Taxus brevifolia Nutt.
Publication: N. Amer. Sylv. 3: 86, plate 108. 1849. 1849.

Taxus baccata L. ssp. brevifolia (Nutt.) Pilger
Taxus baccata L. var. brevifolia (Nutt.) Koehne
Taxus baccata L. var. canadensis Benth.
Taxus lindleyana A. Murray bis
Taxux bourcieri Carrière
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Taxus brevifolia in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Taxus brevifolia checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Taxus brevifolia atlas page.

CalPhotos: Taxus brevifolia photos.

USDA Plants: Taxus brevifolia information.

39 photographs:
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