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' and 'Strcta' are considered to be synonyms.

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



I need some columnar hews that grow in zones 4-5

Maxwell Cohn

if you can find it, Taxus cuspidata 'Fastigiata' is probably the most-hardy columnar yew.


Is the same or similar to Taxus Baccata 'Stricta'? I don't see the stricta trinomial in the database. Thank you!

Lisa Haas

I see that this is a very cold hardy variety. We live in California's USDA zone 9b so the concern is heat and drought tolerance. Would these hold up in full sun?

[Deleted User]

LIsa I'm in Sonnoma County and I do fine with Taxus as long as they get enough water. Since they are shade tolerant (relatively), I usually try to provide some afternoon shade. If you must plant in full sun, mulch well and make sure to water regularly. A good subsitute for this plant is Cupressus macrocarpa 'Chandleri', which is native to the NoCA coast, is happy in full sun, doesn't have high water demands and has the same deep green, narrow form.

Victoria Fuller

I'm on the north Oregon coast and just bought a small 'Fastigiata' (1 gallong pot) from a nursery 80 miles inland (Portland, OR). It has quite a bronze tone to it now. It appears very healthy so I am assuming that is perhaps due to chilly weather in Portland (low 30's). Is that common for the plant to turn during near freezing temps? I quite like the idea that it might continue to turn this pretty color in cooler temperatures.