Taxus baccata L., the English yew, is less hardy than T. cuspidata, but is also grown sometimes in southern Michigan, though it has not yet been collected as an escape. Like T. cuspidata, it is a more upright plant, not spreading-ascending from a decumbent base, and has wider leaves (> 2 mm) than the native T. canadensis. It has winter buds (check terminal buds on vigorous shoots) where all the bud scales, even those at the base of the bud, are obtuse to rounded, and very little if at all keeled. In T. cuspidata (and T. canadensis), the bud scales at the base of the bud especially are clearly acute and with a distinct keel. Various compact, columnar, or spreading cultivars of both species, as well as horticultural hybrids, are commonly cultivated and more (and more confusing) escapes are likely.

1. Plants spreading-ascending shrubs with decumbent bases; larger leaves 1.3–2 (–2.4) mm wide, mostly 0.8–2.2 cm long.

T. canadensis

1. Plants erect, becoming large shrubs or small trees, often with a single stem; larger leaves 2.2–3 mm wide, mostly 2–4 cm long.

T. cuspidata

All species found in Taxus

Taxus canadensisGROUND-HEMLOCK, YEW 
Taxus cuspidataJAPANESE YEW 


MICHIGAN FLORA ONLINE. A. A. Reznicek, E. G. Voss, & B. S. Walters. February 2011. University of Michigan. Web. September 30, 2022.