Nature's Secret Larder - Yew (Taxus baccata)


Bushcraft Blog

Yew (Taxus baccata)
7th February 2009

Yew (Taxus baccata)

All parts of the Yew, except for the red flesh surrounding the stone, are highly poisonous, having a paralyzing affect on the heart. It is vital to treat the Yew with extreme caution.

 yew Taxus baccata

 yew Taxus baccata

Yew is a beautiful tree, which can date back centuries, some are said to be several thousand years old. Your best chance of finding Yew, is in old church yards, where it was once law to plant them.

WOOD - The wood was once used to make long bows.

LEAVES - These are very dangerous so please don't use them

BERRIES - The fleshy red part of the berry is the only edible part. It is vital not to crack the seed within the berry. They have a sweet taste, but a strange texture, which gave rise to the name snot berries. I really would only advise you try these if you are an experienced forager!!!

EDIBLE PARTS - Only the red fleshy part of the berry. ALL OTHER PARTS OF YEW ARE DEADLY POISONOUS (see above)


Bowyer Mark on 13/04/11

The wood still is used to make longbows. :o)
My local council applied to the Nat Park to cut down the 800 yr old line of 12 Yews along the border of the church yard and the main road, so the road could be widened. After a massive public campaign, the request was refused. The day after the announcement, the village woke to find the trees felled. No one was ever done for it! Travesty!!

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