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Taxus baccata - English/Common Yew

Taxus baccata (English/Common Yew) seeds


Small, evergreen, native conifer with very dense, dark green leaves and bright red berries in autumn. A versatile shrub or small tree which is very tolerant of pollution and great for hedging, screening, topiary and Bonsai.

Hardy Shrub/Tree
Height: if not pruned, 12m
Flowers: Spring followed by berries in autumn
Position: Any position in any soil

Packet of 30 seeds

Caution: All plant parts toxic if eaten



These seeds have a double dormancy which needs to be broken before they will germinate, ie. they need to go through a process which simulates the changing seasons.

Sowing Instructions: Sow at any time of the year. Sow very thinly in trays or pots of moist, good quality seed compost (eg. Levington), lightly cover with compost and seal inside a polythene bag. Maintain an optimum temperature of 20C for 7 months, then place the container(s) in the fridge for a further 9 months. Then, return to 20C and germination should take place. Throughout this process check regularly and ensure the compost does not dry out. Note: Germination can be very erratic, so sow thinly and prick out the seedlings as they become large enough to handle disturbing the rest of the compost as little as possible.

Alternatively, sow as above, seal in a polythene bag and place in a cold frame or sheltered part of the garden and let nature take its course as the seasons change. (I personally find this gives the best results)

Growing Instructions: Transplant seedlings when large enough to handle into 7.5cm pots and grow on repotting as needed. The seedlings can be transferred to a coldframe outdoors during their first spring and grown on until ready for planting. Yews tolerate a wide range of conditions and can be planted virtually anywhere.

Caution: All plant parts toxic if eaten – wash hands thoroughly after handling.

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