Gardening Magazine

Plant of the Week: Taxus Baccata ‘Repandens’

By Davis Landscape Architecture @DavisLandArch
Taxus baccata 'Prostrata' detail (04/12/2011, London)

Taxus baccata ‘Repandens’ detail (04/12/2011, London)

Position: Full sun to full shade

Flowering period: Late winter to mid spring

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 0.8m

Eventual Spread: 4m

Hardiness: 5b – 8b

Family: Taxaceae

Taxus baccata ‘Repandens’ is a low growing, evergreen spreading shrub. Its dark evergreen leaves are slender and needle like and flat in cross section. These leach alkaloids into the soil, clearing the ground around the tree of competition. Branches. Yellow flowers are produced in spring. As this variety is female, it produces red fruit which appear in autumn an persist through out the winter months (birds permitting).

Taxus baccata ‘Repandens’ is commonly known as the Rependans Yew. The species Taxus baccata is native to much of Europe including the UK. Most parts of the plant are toxic

The etymological root of the binomial name Taxus is derived from the Latin for the Yew tree, which is itself may be derived from the Greek taxon meaning bow. Baccata is derived from the Latin bacca ‘small berry’ or ’round fruit’. Repandens is also derived from the Latin repandum ‘spreading out’.

Taxus baccata 'Prostrata' (04/12/2011, London)

Taxus baccata ‘Repandens’ (04/12/2011, London)

The landscape architect may find Taxus baccata ‘Repandens’ as an effective low growing, low maintenance  ground cover plant, particularly in shady locations. It is tolerant of urban pollution and is drought tolerant once established. Careful consideration should be given to the placing of this plant as most parts are toxic.

Ecologically, T. baccata ‘Repandens’ is attractive to a number of bird species, including the thrush, for its fruit.

The Royal horticultural Society has given T. baccata ‘Repandens’ their prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 1993.

T. baccata ‘Repandens’ prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It will tolerate most pH of soil.

T. baccata ‘Repandens’ requires little maintenance.

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