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A fleshy aril partly surrounds each seed in the yews; note also immature cones with seed not yet surrounded by the aril
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[[{{{domain}}}]] > [[{{{superregnum}}}]] > Plantae > [[{{{subregnum}}}]] > [[{{{superdivisio}}}]] > [[{{{superphylum}}}]] > Pinophyta > [[{{{phylum}}}]] > [[{{{subdivisio}}}]] > [[{{{subphylum}}}]] > [[{{{infraphylum}}}]] > [[{{{microphylum}}}]] > [[{{{nanophylum}}}]] > [[{{{superclassis}}}]] > Pinopsida > [[{{{subclassis}}}]] > [[{{{infraclassis}}}]] > [[{{{superordo}}}]] > Pinales > [[{{{subordo}}}]] > [[{{{infraordo}}}]] > [[{{{superfamilia}}}]] > Taxaceae > [[{{{subfamilia}}}]] > [[{{{supertribus}}}]] > [[{{{tribus}}}]] > [[{{{subtribus}}}]] > [[]] {{{subgenus}}} {{{sectio}}} {{{series}}} var.

Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Taxaceae (from the genus Taxus, the classical name, probably from the Greek meaning bow, for which the wood is used). Yew Family. Fig.5. Much-branched trees or shrubs, with resin-tubes in the bark and no true vessels in the secondary wood: leaves alternate, needle-like or scale-like, persistent: stamens borne on the protected portion of more or less apically thickened or peltate scales (sporophylls) forming a small cone: pistillate cones wanting; ovules borne singly or two together on a fleshy or rudimentary carpel (sporophyll), inverted or straight, the outer integument forming an arillus: fruit a dry seed surrounded by the fleshy often highly colored arillus; the receptacle also often enlarged and forming a fleshy part of the fruit.

Taxaceae has 8 genera and about 70 species widely distributed, of which 40 belong to the genus Podocarpus. The family is related to the Coniferae, but differs in the reduction of the pistillate cone to a single ovule, in the modification or suppression of the sporophyll, and in the aril or arillus. The closely related Ginkgoaceae has a different staminate inflorescence. Fertilization is by means of pollen-tubes.

The timber produced by the tropical eastern species of Podocarpus and of Dacrydium (heron pine and damion pine) is highly valued. The yew wood is hard and susceptible of a high polish. It is used in cabinet work and for bows. The seed and shoots of yew are said to be poisonous, but the arillus is harmless.

In cultivation in America are a few genera for ornamental purposes: Cephalotaxus, East Asia; Podocarpus, Chile, Japan, Australia, grown in the South; Taxus (Yew), Europe, Asia, North America; Torreya (California Nutmeg), California to Florida.CH

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.


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