Taxus baccata 'Fastigiata' / Irish yew

Taxus baccata 'Fastigiata' is one of the world's most-popular conifers. It is a narrowly fastigiate female clone with stiffly erect branches holding long, radially arranged dark-green needles and showy red berries. As plants age, they will become more broadly conical and are often seen sheered with a flat top.

After 10 years of growth, a mature specimen will measure 4.5 to 10 feet (1.5 - 3 m) tall and 2 to 3 feet (60 - 90 cm) wide, an average growth rate of 6 to 12 inches (15 - 30 cm).

This cultivar originated as a random mutated plant found growing the wild in the hills above Florence Court County, Fermanagh, Ireland in the late 1770s. A farmer, named Mr. Willis is said to have transplanted the mother plant to his farm in 1780. Being that this is such an old cultivar and fastigiate seedlings are quite common, including male clones, it is probably more appropriate to name the plant, Taxus baccata forma fastigiata. Some of the common names seen in the nursery trade include Irish yew and Florence Court Yew. Taxus baccata 'Hibernica' is considered a synonym.

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Taxus baccata 'Fastigiata' — a magnificent mature specimen in an arboretum setting.
Photo by Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia, public domain
Taxus baccata 'Fastigiata' — a closeup of foliage and berry detail.
Photo by Juraj Sebestyén

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