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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Taxus baccata 'Standishii' - Standishii Yew

This variegated yew (Standishii Yew) is a pretty cool conifer if you like dwarf or variegated conifers. Grows much slower than the Irish Yew (Taxus baccata Fastigata), ultimately reaching 12-15' after many years. This one is over 50 years old and has gained some decent height and girth. Not commonly seen, and not likely to see more planted, yews are slow growing in the nursery and they are costly to buy retail. Often used in landscapes for vertical accents as seen in this image. My guess is there were several plants in the landscape and not just one.



The Standishii yew makes a great hedge or screen.



Leaves are evergreen, simple, linear or needle-like, spirally arranged, about 1" long, and variegated. The variegation may be the whole leaf of just the margins. A bit splotchy but nice.



Grown in the shade or at least on the shady side of the yew, the leaves are green except for yellow margins. These leaves belong to the yews being used as a screen.



This yew is a female cultivar and will produce a structure that looks like a berry, but is really a cone with a fleshy covering called an aril. More or less all parts of the parts are poisonous.


Yews are very easy to prune, they are tolerant of shearing, topiary or hedging.

Misidentification:
Not much around looks like this. Hoping you have more to look at than a twig because there are way more shrubby variegated yews around, but not here in SC.

Location:
Aptos
6500 Soquel Drive, Cabrillo College in the parking lot of the Sesnon House.

420 Semple St, several along the walkway to the house.

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