Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Taxus brevifolia

Higher Taxonomy
Family: TaxaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Common Name: YEW FAMILY
Habit: Shrub or tree, evergreen; dioecious. Leaf: alternate, linear, decurrent, tip acute; not in bundles, generally appearing 2-ranked. Pollen Cone: with stamen-like structures. Seed: 1 at tip of short twig, partly or completely enclosed by subtending aril; coat woody; cotyledons 2.
Genera In Family: 5 genera, 16 species: northern hemisphere; some Taxus species widely used in landscaping.
eFlora Treatment Author: Matthew H. Hils
Scientific Editor: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: TaxusView Description 

Common Name: YEW
Habit: Shrub, small tree. Stem: trunk generally of irregular width; branches +- drooping; wood not aromatic. Pollen Cone: 4--8 stamen-like structures in a stalked cluster.
Species In Genus: +- 7 species: northern hemisphere. Etymology: (Latin, probably from Greek: bow, for which wood used)
Reference: Spjut 2007 J Bot Res Inst Texas 1:203--289
Taxus brevifolia Nutt.
Stem: trunk to 18(25) m, < 0.6(1.2) m wide; bark shredding, outer scales +- purple to +- purple-brown, inner scales +- red to +- red-purple. Leaf: pale green adaxially, shiny +- yellow-green abaxially. Seed: 5--6.5 mm, ovoid; coat smooth.
Ecology: Generally dense, mixed-evergreen forest, lower slopes or canyon bottoms; Elevation: 10--2150 m. Bioregional Distribution: NW, CaR, n&c SN, SnFrB; Distribution Outside California: to Alaska, western Montana. Note: See Spjut (2007) for alternative treatment of Taxus in California.
Synonyms: Taxus brevifolia var. polychaeta Spjut; Taxus brevifolia var. reptaneta Spjut; Taxus brevifolia Nutt. var. brevifolia
Jepson eFlora Author: Matthew H. Hils
Reference: Spjut 2007 J Bot Res Inst Texas 1:203--289
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Botanical illustration including Taxus brevifolia

botanical illustration including Taxus brevifolia


Citation for this treatment: Matthew H. Hils 2012, Taxus brevifolia, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on February 27, 2021.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2021, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on February 27, 2021.

Taxus brevifolia
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© 2011 Steve Matson
Taxus brevifolia
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© 2008 Keir Morse
Taxus brevifolia
click for enlargement
© 2008 Keir Morse
Taxus brevifolia
click for enlargement
© 2008 Keir Morse
Taxus brevifolia
click for enlargement
© 2019 Barry Rice
Taxus brevifolia
click for enlargement
© 2019 Barry Rice

More photos of Taxus brevifolia in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Taxus brevifolia:
NW, CaR, n&c SN, SnFrB
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).


View elevation by latitude chart

Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).