Taxus brevifolia- The Pacific Yew


female cone developingReproduction by Seed
The Pacific Yew is dioecious, meaning that the male and female trees are separate. Every once in a while, a Pacific Yew will have both male and female parts, but that’s very rare. Because the tree is dioecious, the seeds that are reproduced are forced to travel to germinate. A good majority of the time, birds are the dispersers of the seeds. These seeds are produced on the female tree while the wind-dispersed pollen is produced on the male tree. By looking at the general life cycle, we can see that once the seed becomes fertilized, it becomes a sporphyte which undergoes meiosis to form the megaspores and microspores. These spores then become megagametophytes and microgametophytes, respectively. The megagametophtyes produce the egg while the microspores produce the sperm. Fertilization occurs once again and the cycle is restarted.

 Life cycle

Pacific Yew Seeds
·  The fruit ripens from August to October of the same year that flowering occurred.
·  The seeds germinate slowly and require stratification.
·  There is some evidence that the seeds can remain dormant for years in soil and then grow when conditions are favorable.
branch and fruit from flickrVegetative Regeneration
Not only is Taxus brevifolia able to reproduce through seeds, it’s also able to regenerate by vegetative means. In fact, in many areas, this is the primary form of reproduction for the tree. The tree is capable of layering. The layering usually occurs after braches or the tree tops have been flattened to the ground for quite some time.  These crushed or flatten parts form a series of layered braches that give rise to many individual organisms. Also, the branches and stems of the tree frequently root when they come into contact with the soil and then this will create a whole other plant as well. When the top of one of these trees is destroyed, it often sprouts from the stumps or rootstocks as well.

Now go ahead and take a look at how the Pacific yew interacts with other species on the Interactions page.