Taxus sumatrana

Taxus sumatrana is an evergreen shrub and one of the eight species of the yew. It is found in a number of countries, including Afghanistan, Tibet, Nepal, Vietnam, India, Burma and China, and is known as the Chinese yew. It is typically found at heights ranging from 400-3100m in subtropical forest and on highland ridges. It can also be found conserved in the Taroko National Park in Taiwan and the Ayubia National Park in Pakistan.


The Taxus sumatrana is a wide trunked, bushy tree that grows to an average height of 14m. It's leaves are 1.2-2.7 cm long and 2-2.5 mm wide, and grow in two ranks along the branches, abruptly spiralling into an apex at the tip, with a pale yellow-green colour on top, and light green underneath. The Chinese yew has fleshy seeds that ripen into a red colour, and a grey-red bark which exfoliates in irregular 1.5 mm thick flakes and leaves scars on the trunk that appear yellow quickly after cutting.


The oil used to mark a red spot on the forehead of a Brahmin is made by mixing oil with the bark from this tree. Chinese yews are also used for clogs, whip handles, bed frames and bows.


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