Identification: Taxus or Cephalotaxus?

Discussion in 'Gymnosperms (incl. Conifers)' started by wcutler, Jun 27, 2019.

  1. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    I think the third photo shows fruits that look like Cephalotaxus, but then I look at Taxus photos and think the buds look just like what I'm seeing. Is there any chance of identifying this to species or even cultivar? This is surely a Parks Board planting along a walkway connecting False Creek to Granville Island, a park and shopping area near downtown.
    20190625_153312.jpg Taxus-or-Cephalotaxus_WsideAlderBay_Cutler_20190625_152145.jpg Taxus-or-Cephalotaxus_WsideAlderBay_Cutler_20190625_152308.jpg Taxus-or-Cephalotaxus_WsideAlderBay_Cutler_20190625_152349.jpg Taxus-or-Cephalotaxus_WsideAlderBay_Cutler_20190625_153027.jpg Taxus-or-Cephalotaxus_WsideAlderBay_Cutler_20190625_153201.jpg
     
  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Taxus, likely Taxus baccata. The 'fruit' in photo #3 are old pollen cones.
     
  3. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Plant pictured has variable orientation of leaves resulting in disheveled (fuzzy) foliar appearance that is shown by certain T. x media cultivars. Plum yews tend to have thicker and broader needles than yews and of course their female cones are "plums" rather than being small and partly red.
     
  4. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Thank you both! Those round greenish things to the left of the old pollen cones in photo #3 got me confused, since they didn't look anything like the cone on the left in the last photo, which presumably is also a male cone, quite a bit more developed than the others on that twig. The photo #3 green things will open to look like the one in the last photo?

    Only somewhat related, this web page didn't help me one bit with the ID (last photo's cone will open to look like the ones pictured on this page?), but it's an article on the Fortingall Yew in Perthshire, a tree of "international renown as potentially the oldest individual tree in Europe". This male tree has put out some female cones, which was the point of the article from the RBG Edinburgh: Oldest yew tree switches sex.
     
  5. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Notice in the other article the leaves are like those shown in this thread as far as orientation is concerned, it is probably the shoots of some of the hybrids being curved that produces the effect I was talking about above.
     
  6. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    So Taxus baccata, then. Rats. I'll have to keep looking for T. x media, which I would like to see. For all I know, they're all over the place, but I don't recognize them. I'll look for curved shoots.
     
  7. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    The easiest way to be sure of seeing T. x media is to travel to a zone 6 area, where it is hardy, but T. baccata is not (and that is also the only reason to grow T. x media; it is so similar to T. baccata that it isn't worth having except for its extra hardiness ;-)
     
  8. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Interesting. Thanks. Unlikely I'll know it without a tag, then. Or maybe there would be some in QE Park, the coldest neighbourhood in Vancouver?
     
  9. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Since the photos starting this thread show curved shoots I still suspect an identification of T. x media. Next it would be a matter of looking at a manual or web equivalent that indicates which specific characters are used to tell.
     

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