Yew (Taxus baccata) is the classic British hedging plant for creating a formal evergreen hedge or topiary. With its dark green leaves the Yew also makes an excellent backdrop to any herbaceous border.
Yew hedge plants are slow growing and easily maintained, requiring clipping once a year in late summer to maintain a dense hedge.
The Yew bears small red fruits which are attractive to birds. However, the leaves are poisonous making the Yew unsuitable for hedging where there are animals grazing.
The Yew is shade tolerant but does not like waterlogged soil.
Taxus baccata can reach 400 to 600 years of age. Some specimens live longer but the age of yews is often overestimated. The yew is often found in churchyards in England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France and northern areas of Spain.
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