Taxus baccata ‘Fastigiata Robusta’

Irish yew, Florence Court Yew

Taxus baccata is one of the world’s most popular conifer. An extremely versatile and resilient plant, the Irish yew grows as a compact evergreen shrub with a dark foliage.

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Origin: western, central and southern Europe, northwest Africa, northern Iran, and southwest Asia
Genus: Taxus
Species / Cultivar: baccata 'Fastigiata Robusta'
Common Name: Irish yew, Florence Court Yew
Synonym: Taxus baccata 'Hibernica'

Plant Biography

The Taxus baccata is one of the most wide spread conifer in Europe, considered quite a morbid symbol of death and doom, being found quite often in cemeteries and around churches. However, more recently, this attitude towards the Irish Yew has changed and it’s an increasingly popular plant for hedging and screening.

This cultivar of T.baccata it’s said to have originated in a the wild around Florence Court County, Fermanagh, Ireland around the 18th century. The cultivar’s name ‘fastigiata’ is a reference to its innate tendency to grow its branches more or less parallel to the main stem.

Irish yew is a dioecious plant, with lovely read berries adorning the female plants in winter. Unless the plant flowers and produces fruit, there’s male and female plants are virtually undistinguishable. Flowers appear in March and April with the male plants displaying white-yellow small flowers, whilst the female ones are green, bud-like, and scaly.

Taxus baccata ‘Fastigiata Robusta’
Soil: Well drained
Soil that does not show much signs of moisture, either visibly or when handled.
Growth Rate: Medium
Expect to see moderate growth during growing season.
Water Requirement: Medium
Once it is established, this plant is likely to only require watering during drier periods.
Maintenance: Low
Minimal skill or input needed beyond the basics, a very independent plant.
Situation: Full Sun to Full Shade
Tolerates the complete range of light levels, a very accommodating plant!
Eventual Height: 8 - 10m
The plant's ultimate height in typical growing conditions.
Eventual Spread: 2.5 - 4m
The plant's ultimate spread in typical growing conditions.
Hardiness: Fully Hardy
Will survive unprotected outdoors in most areas of the UK, even in the harshest winters.
Habit: Evergreen
Always in leaf throughout the year. It won't lose all its leaves at any one time.

Expert Tip

As most of the plant is toxic by ingestion, it's recommended to use gloves and wash hands thoroughly when handling the plant.
Care & Size Guidance

Care & Size Guidance

Taxus baccata is coping really well with heavy pruning, making the Irish yew is a very versatile plant and it can be used both as a specimen plant or a hedge or screen.

Plant in a well drained soil. The plant is tolerant to dry shade, chalk soils, exposed locations and urban pollution.

Plant the Irish Yew in autumn for best results. Water the young plants or newly planted Taxus more often than established ones.


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