English Yews (Taxus baccata)
The English Yew does best in slightly warmer territory below the Mason-Dixon line. It can grow into a tree but often is pruned to act as a shrub. Although the species can be very large, most landscape forms are smaller cultivars. The plant can be grown in shade but it will not be as dense. Only female plants will produce the red fruits.
English Yew Choices
Repandens is a dwarf spreader, growing very slowly to 3' tall by 12' wide. It has dark green needles that are sickle-shaped and the ends of the branches are semi-pendulous. It is useful for shade areas and as a tall groundcover. It is not reliably hardy in the northern portion of zone 5. Adpressa Aurea has young shoots that are yellow. Cheshuntensis is a narrow and columnar plant with silvery green needles and red fruit. Standishii is an upright, slow-growing cultivar with yellow foliage. Washingtonii has new growth that is golden-yellow becoming light green with age. It is a slow-growing, globe shaped plant. Fastigiata or “Irish Yew,” has a rigid, upright, columnar growth habit. Standishii grows to 15 feet tall and has yellowish-green leaves.