Taxus wallichiana


Taxus wallichiana

Taxobox
name = "Taxus wallichiana"
status = DD
status_system = IUCN2.3
regnum = Plantae
divisio = Pinophyta
classis = Pinopsida
ordo = Pinales
familia = Taxaceae
genus = "Taxus"
species = "T. wallichiana"
binomial = "Taxus wallichiana"
binomial_authority = Zucc.
synonyms ="Taxus baccata" subsp. "wallichiana"

"Taxus wallichiana" (Himalayan Yew) is a species of yew, native to the Himalaya from Afghanistan east to western Yunnan in southwestern China, at altitudes from 2,000–3,500 m.Farjon, A. (1998). "World Checklist and Bibliography of Conifers". Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew ISBN 1-900347-54-7.] Rushforth, K. (1987). "Conifers". Helm ISBN 0-7470-2801-X.]

It is a medium-sized evergreen coniferous tree growing to 20 m tall, similar to "Taxus baccata" and sometimes treated as a subspecies of it. The shoots are green at first, becoming brown after three or four years. The leaves are thin, flat, slightly falcate (sickle-shaped), 1.5–2.7 cm long and 2 mm broad, with a softly mucronate apex; they are arranged spirally on the shoots but twisted at the base to appear in two horizontal ranks on all except for erect lead shoots. It is dioecious, with the male and female cones on separate plants; the seed cone is highly modified, berry-like, with a single scale developing into a soft, juicy red aril 1 cm diameter, containing a single dark brown seed 7 mm long. The pollen cones are globose, 4 mm diameter, produced on the undersides of the shoots in early spring.

Similar plants occurring further east through China to Taiwan, Vietnam and the Philippines are included in "Taxus wallichiana" as "T. wallichiana" var. "chinensis" (Pilger) Florin by some authors,Flora of China: [http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=2&taxon_id=200005497 "Taxus wallichiana"] ] but are more often treated as a separate species "Taxus chinensis".

The tree has medicinal use in Ayurveda and Tibetan medicine.

References


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