Botanical Name: Taxus cuspidata
Common Name: Japanese Yew  
Plant photo of: Taxus cuspidata
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Water Saving Tip:

Water-wise plants can be beautiful as well as practical.

Take your 'My List' Hydrozone Report to a landscape designer, or local nursery, when selecting and purchasing plants.

  • Anatomy

  • Culture

  • Design

Plant Type

Conifer, Shrub


Height Range

3-6', 6-12', 12-25'


Flower Color



Flower Season



Leaf Color

Green, Dark Green, Light Green


Bark Color



Fruit Color



Fruit Season



Full, Half, Shade





Growth Rate



Soil Type

Sandy, Loam, Rocky


Soil Condition

Average, Rich, Poor, Well-drained, Moist, Dry


Soil pH

Acid, Neutral


Adverse Factors


Design Styles

English Cottage, Formal, Japanese, Mediterranean, Ranch, Woodland


Accenting Features



Seasonal Interest

Winter, Spring


Location Uses

Background, Shrub Border, Foundation, Patio, Park, With Rocks


Special Uses

Hedge, Screen, Topiary


Attracts Wildlife


Information by: Stephanie Duer
  • Description

  • Notes

The evergreen yews in this species tend to up generally upright and spreading, becoming wider than they are tall. Heights range from a couple of feet to 10 or 20 feet, though they are slow growing. New growth is a bright yellow-green, with the growth being very soft. Otherwise, the foliage is a dark, lustrous green. Flowers are inconspicuous, but the following fruit is very red.
It's a shame, but most folks who plant yews never get to enjoy it's beautiful, soft, bright yellow-green spring foliage because they are forever shearing or hedging the poor things. Select the right yew for the space, and prune it selectively in late winter, and you will find you spend a lot less time pruning. See the how-to's. Yews are not drought tolerant, really, but generally manage quite well on considerably less water than is usually offered. Plant so it receives morning sun or full shade, in good, well draining soil.