Japanese yew (Common name)

General poisoning notes:

Japanese yew (Taxus cuspidata) is an outdoor ornamental that is winter-hardy across southern Canada. This shrub contains toxic quantities of the alkaloid taxine. Cattle and horses became ill and died after ingesting the leaves and twigs of Japanese yew. In two cases in Ontario, several cattle died after gaining access to shrubs around houses or after being given hedge trimmings (Alden et al. 1977, Thomson and Barker 1978).

References:

  • Alden, C. L., Fosnaugh, C. J., Smith, J. B., Mohan, R. 1977. Japanese yew poisoning of large domestic animals in the midwest. J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc., 170: 314-316.
  • Ogden, L. 1988. Taxus (yews) - a highly toxic plant. Vet. Hum. Toxicol., 30: 563-564.
  • Thomson, G. W., Barker, I. K. 1978. Japanese yew (Taxus cuspidata) poisoning in cattle. Can. Vet. J., 19: 320-321.
  • Veatch, J. K., Reid, F. M., Kennedy, G. A. 1988. Differentiating yew poisoning from other toxicoses. Vet. Med., 83: 298-300.

Nomenclature:

Scientific Name:
Taxus cuspidata Siebold & Zucc.
Vernacular name(s):
Japanese yew
Scientific family name:
Taxaceae
Vernacular family name:
Yews

Visitez ITIS*ca pour plus d'information taxonomique: Taxus cuspidata

References:

  • Agriculture Quebec. 1975. Noms des maladies des plantes du Canada/ Names of plant diseases in Canada. , Quebec City, Que., Canada. 288 pp.
  • Alex, J. F., Cayouette, R., Mulligan, G. A. 1980. Common and botanical names of weeds in Canada/Noms populaire et scientifiques des plantes nuisibles du Canada. Revised. Agric. Can. Publ., Ottawa, Ont., Canada. 132 pp.
  • Bailey, L. H., Bailey, E. Z. 1976. Hortus third. Revised. MacMillan, New York, N.Y., USA. 1290 pp.
  • Scoggan, H. J. 1978, 1979. The flora of Canada. Nat. Mus. Nat. Sci. (Ottawa) Publ. Bot. 7(1)-7(4). 1711 pp.
  • Van Wijk, H. L. 1911. A dictionary of plant names. Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, The Netherlands. 1444 pp.
  • Victorin, M. 1964. Flore Laurentienne. 2nd ed. Univ. Montreal, Montreal, Que., Canada. 952 pp.

Geographic Information

Plant or plant parts used in or around the home.

References:

  • Bailey, L. H., Bailey, E. Z. 1976. Hortus third. Revised. MacMillan, New York, N.Y., USA. 1290 pp.
  • Boivin, B. 1966, 1967. Énumération des plantes du Canada. Provencheria 6. Nat. Can. (Que.) 93: 253-274; 371-437; 583-646; 989-1063. 94: 131-157; 471-528; 625-655.

Image or illustration

Images: Japanese yew - Google Search

Notes on Poisonous plant parts:

Leaves, twigs, and seeds are toxic. Only the red arils, the fleshy outer parts of the fruits, are considered nontoxic (Ogden 1988).

Toxic parts:

  • leaves
  • seeds
  • twigs

References:

  • Ogden, L. 1988. Taxus (yews) - a highly toxic plant. Vet. Hum. Toxicol., 30: 563-564.

Notes on Toxic plant chemicals:

Taxine (taxin) is a complex mixture of alkaloids that is rapidly absorbed from the digestive tract and interferes with heart action (Feldman et al. 1987).

Toxic plant chemicals:

  • taxine

References:

  • Feldman, R., Szajewski, J. M., Chrobak, J., Liberek, Z. M. 1987. Four cases of self-poisoning with yew leaves decoction. Vet. Hum. Toxicol., 29: 72.
  • Lampe, K. F., McCann, M. A. 1985. AMA Handbook of poisonous and injurious plants. American Medical Assoc. Chicago, Ill., USA. 432 pp.

Animals/Human Poisoning:

Note: When an animal is listed without additional information, the literature (as of 1993) contained no detailed explanation.

Cattle

General symptoms of poisoning:

References:

  • Ogden, L. 1988. Taxus(yews) - a highly toxic plant. Vet. Hum. Toxicol., 30: 563-564.
  • Veatch, J. K., Reid, F. M., Kennedy, G. A. 1988. Differentiating yew poisoning from other toxicoses. Vet. Med., 83: 298-300.

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