Taxus brevifolia- The Pacific Yew



leaves2Leaves- The needle-like leaves of the Pacific Yew are spirally arranged along the twigs with a darker green on the top and a paler green on the bottom. This darker top allows the leaves to absorb as much light coming from above as possible. It’s also evident that the leaves found on the trees located in the shade have more area than those on trees mainly in the sun. This adaptation helps trees acclimate more to full-sun if the tree canopy was removed but also helps gain more sun needed for photosynthesis for those trees located in understorybark.

Branches- The branches of the Pacific Yew are extremely long, sometimes as long as the tree is tall. Because of the increased surface area for leaves to grow, this is also yet another way for the tree to gain more sunlight needed for nutritional reasons.
Bark- The bark of this tree is very thin. There’s no need for the bark to be thick because the Pacific Yew doesn’t live in a hot environment where water retention is a absolute necessity.



Fruit structures- Though the fruit-like structures produced by Taxus brevifolia are sweet, they are found to be poisonous to many species who try to eat them like gravers such as cows, sheep or horses. This is an adaptation that discourages prospective predators from eating the fruit and seed so it will be able to grow to maturity and become a new tree.

Make sure to check out the Nutrition page to see how Taxus brevifolia is able to gain the nutrients that it needs.