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Uses

Toxic parts

All parts of the plant, except the flesh of the fruit, are highly poisonous[1][2][3][4][5][6].

Edible uses

Notes

Fruit - raw[7][8][9][10]. Very sweet and gelatinous, most people find it delicious though some find it sickly[K]. The fruit is a fleshy berry about 8mm in diameter and containing a single seed[11]. All other parts of this plant, including the seed, are highly poisonous. When eating the fruit you should spit out the large seed found in the fruit's centre. Should you swallow the whole seed it will just pass straight through you without harm, if the seed has been bitten into, however, it could cause some problems.

Fruit

Material uses

A green dye can be obtained from the leaves[12].

Unknown part

Dye

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

The Canadian yew is a very poisonous plant, though it was employed medicinally by several native North American Indian tribes who used minute amounts of the leaves both internally and externally in order to treat a variety of complaints including rheumatism, fevers, influenza, expelling afterbirth and dispelling clots[13][14][12]. Modern research has shown that it contains the substance 'taxol' in its shoots and bark. Taxol has shown exciting potential as an anti-cancer drug, particularly in the treatment of ovarian cancers[14][15]. This remedy is very toxic and, even when used externally, should only be used under the supervision of a qualified practitioner[15]. See also the notes above on toxicity. The plant is abortifacient, analgesic, antirheumatic, antitumor, diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue, febrifuge and pectoral[12].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - can be very slow to germinate, often taking 2 or more years[16][17]. It is best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn when it should germinate 18 months later. Stored seed may take 2 years or more to germinate. 4 months warm followed by 4 months cold stratification may help reduce the germination time[18]. Harvesting the seed 'green' (when fully developed but before it has dried on the plant) and then sowing it immediately has not been found to reduce the germination time because the inhibiting factors develop too early[17]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots once they are large enough to handle and grow them on in pots in a cold frame. The seedlings are very slow-growing and will probably require at least 2 years of pot cultivation before being large enough to plant out. Any planting out is best done in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts[K].

Cuttings of half-ripe terminal shoots, 5 - 8cm long, July/August in a shaded frame. Should root by late September but leave them in the frame over winter and plant out in late spring[16]. High percentage[19].

Cuttings of ripe terminal shoots, taken in winter after a hard frost, in a shaded frame[18].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Taxus canadensis. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Thrives in almost any soil, acid or alkaline, as long as it is well-drained[11]. Plants are very shade tolerant82].

This species is the most cold-hardy member of the genus[19] - dormant plants will tolerate very heavy frosts though the young growth in spring can be damaged by a few degrees of frost. The plants produce very little fibrous root and should be planted in their final positions when still small[20]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[11].

Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required. Another report says that this species has monoecious flowers (separate male and female flowers, but both borne on the same plant)[21].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Taxus canadensis. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Taxus canadensis.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Taxus canadensis
Genus
Taxus
Family
Taxaceae
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
4
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
permanent shade
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
  • Strong wind
Ecosystems
Native Climate Zones
None listed.
Adapted Climate Zones
None listed.
Native Geographical Range
None listed.
Native Environment
None listed.
Ecosystem Niche
None listed.
Root Zone Tendancy
None listed.
Life
Deciduous or Evergreen
Herbaceous or Woody
Life Cycle
Growth Rate
Mature Size
6 x meters
Fertility
Pollinators
Flower Colour
?
Flower Type











References

  1. ? F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
  2. ? Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
  3. ? Chiej. R. Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants. MacDonald ISBN 0-356-10541-5 (1984-00-00)
  4. ? Altmann. H. Poisonous Plants and Animals. Chatto and Windus ISBN 0-7011-2526-8 (1980-00-00)
  5. ? Stary. F. Poisonous Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-35666-3 (1983-00-00)
  6. ? Frohne. D. and Pf?nder. J. A Colour Atlas of Poisonous Plants. Wolfe ISBN 0723408394 (1984-00-00)
  7. ? 7.07.17.2 Fernald. M. L. Gray's Manual of Botany. American Book Co. (1950-00-00)
  8. ? 8.08.1 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
  9. ? 9.09.1 Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
  10. ? 10.010.1 Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World. Keigaku Publishing (1976-00-00)
  11. ? 11.011.111.211.311.4 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
  12. ? 12.012.112.212.312.4 Moerman. D. Native American Ethnobotany Timber Press. Oregon. ISBN 0-88192-453-9 (1998-00-00)
  13. ? 13.013.1 Weiner. M. A. Earth Medicine, Earth Food. Ballantine Books ISBN 0-449-90589-6 (1980-00-00)
  14. ? 14.014.114.2 Foster. S. & Duke. J. A. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America. Houghton Mifflin Co. ISBN 0395467225 (1990-00-00)
  15. ? 15.015.115.2 Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
  16. ? 16.016.1 Sheat. W. G. Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers. MacMillan and Co (1948-00-00)
  17. ? 17.017.1 McMillan-Browse. P. Hardy Woody Plants from Seed. Grower Books ISBN 0-901361-21-6 (1985-00-00)
  18. ? 18.018.1 Dirr. M. A. and Heuser. M. W. The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation. Athens Ga. Varsity Press ISBN 0942375009 (1987-00-00)
  19. ? 19.019.119.2 Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (1981-00-00)
  20. ? Rushforth. K. Conifers. Christopher Helm ISBN 0-7470-2801-X (1987-00-00)
  21. ? Sargent. C. S. Manual of the Trees of N. America. Dover Publications Inc. New York. ISBN 0-486-20278-X (1965-00-00)