European Yew tree - Taxus baccata

The European Yew tree (Taxus baccata) has in centuries past been called the "tree of eternity" for its longevity and for the fact that it begins to grow again even after several hundreds years.

In England it is very common to see Yew trees next to churches. In most of these cases the Yew predates the Church. Because the Yew was considered a sacred tree prior to the introduction of Christianity many churches were built close to them.

The flat blade like leaves grow along the length of the new stem branches.

The tree in these pictures is located in the "Fuente del Berro" park in Madrid, Spain.


  1. Wonderful blog!
    I ADORE trees myself.
    (Not literally - I don't "worship" them or anything... I just really, really love them. ;))

    And here's a beauty you should visit, if you haven't already:

  2. I have never visited the Fortingall Yew but I have blogged about it on another one of my blogs...

    Ten Thousand Trees Blog.

  3. The berries of the Yew are highly poisonous and can cause cardiac arrest, yet Yew trees form the derivative of the chemotherapy drug Taxotere. This drug has many serious side effects, which make cancer patients feel as if they were cut down to a stump. I hope that after taking this drug I will be reinvigorated like the Yew and live a long, long life!

    Thank you for the wonderful photo of this remarkable tree!

  4. the aril,coating the seat of the yew, is the only part of the tree, which is NOT toxic
    in scandinavia, they use it to make jam because it tastes quite good

    1. the aril of the seed is also both a laxative and a diuretic

  5. The fleshy red berry (aril) of the Yew tree is not poisonous. Birds especially savour the fruits and excrete the whole seeds (enclosed within the aril) undamaged and viable. In this way, birds broadcast the seeds and thereby provide benefit to the Yew species. However, beware to any, man or beast, who consume the foliage or crushed seeds. These are deadly poisonous in sufficient quantity. Horses are quite sensitive in this regard.

  6. my dog keeps eating the berries from our yew tree is there a reason for this? she gets very excited about going in the garden. our yew is a little different from most it grows upright ang is at least 40-50 feet tall not being a gardener I dont know much about trees or plants. michelle IOW

  7. Wish i knew where to find one of these in the midwest. I can't figure out where they are! Do they even grow there?