yew


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yew,

name for evergreen trees or shrubs of the genus Taxus, somewhat similar to hemlock but bearing red berrylike fruits instead of true cones. Of somber appearance, with dark green leaves, the yew since antiquity has been associated with death and funeral rites. The English yew (T. baccata) was used for the longbows of English archers. The wood of several yews is still employed in making bows and for cabinetwork. In North America the most common species is a low, spreading shrub (T. canadensis), called also ground hemlock, which is native to Canada and to the NW United States. The most commonly cultivated yews in the E United States are varieties of the Japanese yew, T. cuspidata. Yews are often trimmed into hedges. Several related evergreen species are also cultivated for ornament, e.g., the plum-yews, of the Asian genus Cephalotaxus. Most parts of the yew plant are poisonous. There is little or no record of medicinal use by Native Americans. However, an important anticancer drug, taxol (effective against ovarian and possibly other cancers), occurs in the Pacific yew (T. brevifolia), the English yew, and others. Taxol prevents breakdown of cell microtubules, consequently preventing cell division. Yew is classified in the division PinophytaPinophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called gymnosperms. The gymnosperms, a group that includes the pine, have stems, roots and leaves, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Pinopsida, order Coniferales, family Taxaceae.

yew

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(botany)
A genus of evergreen trees and shrubs, Taxus, with the fruit, an aril, containing a single seed surrounded by a scarlet, fleshy, cuplike envelope; the leaves are flat and acicular.

yew

traditionally planted in churchyards; symbol of deathlessness. [Br. Legend: Brewer Dictionary, 1171]

yew

tree symbolizes grief. [Flower Symbolism: Flora Symbolica, 178]

yew

symbol of immortality; hence, planted in churchyards and near Druid temples. [Br. Legend: Brewer Dictionary, 967]
See: Trees

yew

1. any coniferous tree of the genus Taxus, of the Old World and North America, esp T. baccata, having flattened needle-like leaves, fine-grained elastic wood, and solitary seeds with a red waxy aril resembling berries: family Taxaceae
2. the wood of any of these trees, used to make bows for archery
3. Archery a bow made of yew
References in periodicals archive ?
In his introduction to the book 'The Big Ideas of Lee Kuan Yew,' Ambassador Kishore Mahbubani, currently the dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National
YEWS, which you can often spot in churchyards, are slow growing and can live for 600 years.
Toby Hindson, a scientist with the group, said: "As the AYG expert on ageing, I can confirm from the photographs that the yew is certainly 500 years old, and may exceed that age by a noticeable margin.
Now an expert from the Ancient Yew Group has confirmed that the tree was at least 500 years old and was probably older by a "noticeable margin.
But it has started sprouting berries, something only female yew trees do.
Martin Gardner MBE, the Gardens' International Conifer Conservation Programme Co-ordinator who heads the scheme, says that the hedge is being grown because Britain's historic yew trees 'are under threat'.
The bridge was meant to be open to the public from April, but its opening was brought forward on Sunday to cope with the crowds who lined the existing Esplanade Bridge to bid farewell to Lee Kuan Yew.
Lee Kuan Yew, who led the country from 1959 to 1990, is called "founding father" of modern Singapore.
The Prime Minister said that Lee Kuan Yew had a charismatic personality and was a highly able and determined leader.
People and government of Pakistan equally share the grief of people and leadership of Singapore on the demise of Lee Kuan Yew , he added.
Abu Dhabi -- The President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has sent a cable of condolences to Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam, President of Singapore, on the death of Lee Kuan Yew, the first prime minister of the city state.
Olive Yew is among 22 artists selected by Etsy, an online craft seller, to showcase their custom handmade jewelry at AMNH.