Pacific yew

plant
also called  western yew, California yew, Oregon yew, or American yew 

      (Taxus brevifolia), an evergreen timber tree of the yew family (Taxaceae). It is the only commercially important yew native to North America, where it is found from Alaska to California. Usually between 5 and 15 metres (about 15 to 50 feet) tall, it sometimes reaches 25 metres. See also yew.

      Although the wood of Pacific yew has been used for furniture and handicrafts, for many years this species was considered an impediment to the harvest of larger timber trees. Therefore, many stands were indiscriminantly cut down. More recently an extract of the bark of this species was found to yield a compound (taxol) that is a potent drug for the treatment of certain types of cancer. Unfortunately, the plants grow slowly and must be some 100 years old before the bark is harvestable. This has led to the destruction of more wild populations but also to a search for related species of the genus Taxus that might contain taxol.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Pacific yew — noun small or medium irregularly branched tree of the Pacific coast of North America; yields fine hard close grained wood • Syn: ↑California yew, ↑western yew, ↑Taxus brevifolia • Hypernyms: ↑yew • Member Holonyms: ↑Taxus, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • Pacific yew — trumpaspyglis kukmedis statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Kukmedinių šeimos dekoratyvinis, medieninis, vaistinis nuodingas augalas (Taxus brevifolia), paplitęs Šiaurės Amerikoje. atitikmenys: lot. Taxus brevifolia angl. Pacific yew; western… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • Pacific yew — noun Date: circa 1890 a small or medium slow growing irregularly branched yew (Taxus brevifolia) of the Pacific coast of the United States and Canada that yields a fine grained hardwood and is the source of paclitaxel …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Pacific yew — /pəsɪfɪk ˈju/ (say puhsifik yooh) noun a small to medium conifer of the Pacific coast of North America, Taxus brevifolia, which produces in the bark a substance called paclitaxel used in some forms of cancer chemotherapy …   Australian English dictionary

  • Pacific yew — Taxus brevifolia …   Medical dictionary

  • Yew — may refer to:Botany*Any of various coniferous trees and shrubs in the genus Taxus : **European Yew or Common Yew ( Taxus baccata ) **Pacific Yew or Western Yew ( Taxus brevifolia ) **Canadian Yew ( Taxus canadensis ) **Chinese Yew ( Taxus… …   Wikipedia

  • yew — yew1 /yooh/, n. 1. any of several evergreen, coniferous trees and shrubs of the genera Taxus and Torreya, constituting the family Taxaceae, of the Old World, North America, and Japan, having needlelike or scalelike foliage and seeds enclosed in a …   Universalium

  • yew — noun Etymology: Middle English ew, from Old English īw; akin to Old High German īwa yew, Middle Irish eó Date: before 12th century 1. a. any of a genus (Taxus of the family Taxaceae, the yew family) of evergreen gymnospermous trees and shrubs… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • yew — yü n any of a genus (Taxus of the family Taxaceae, the yew family) of evergreen trees and shrubs with stiff linear leaves and seeds surrounded by a fleshy red aril esp one (T. brevifolia) of the Pacific coast of the U.S. and Canada whose bark… …   Medical dictionary

  • Pacific Playwrights Festival — The Pacific Playwrights Festival (PPF), a national forum for playwrights and theatre leaders, is dedicated to developing and producing new American plays. It is held every summer at South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa, California.Within the… …   Wikipedia

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