Himalayan Yew
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Himalayan Yew
ative Photo: Balkar Singh
Common name: Himalayan Yew • Dogri: Birmi, Brammi, Postul, Thuneer • Hindi: Gallu, Thuno • Marathi: Barmi • Sanskrit: Manduparni • Nepali: बर्मा सल्ला Barmaa Salla, भाम सल्ला Bhaam Salla, पाते सल्ला Paate Salla, सिलांगी Silaangee, थिङ्ग्रे सल्ला Thingre Salla, लोठ सल्लो Lothasallo, तलिशपत्र Talishapatra, थुनेर Thuner • Mizo: Tu-far • Tangkhul: Kathinaomatang
Botanical name: Taxus wallichiana    Family: Taxaceae (Yew family)
Synonyms: Taxus baccata subsp. wallichiana, Taxus orientalis

Himalayan Yew is a medium-sized evergreen coniferous tree growing up to 30 m tall, but usually less than 10 m. The shoots are green at first, becoming brown after three or four years. The leaves are thin, flat, slightly sickle-shaped, 1.5-2.7 cm long and 2 mm broad, with a apex with a short point. They are arranged spirally on the shoots but twisted at the base to appear in two horizontal ranks on all except for erect lead shoots. It is dioecious, with the male and female cones on separate plants. The seed cone is highly modified, berry-like, with a single scale developing into a soft, juicy red aril 1 cm in diameter, containing a single dark brown seed 7 mm long. The pollen cones are spherical, 4 mm diameter, produced on the undersides of the shoots in early spring. Himalayan Yew is found in the Himalayas, from Afghanistan to SW China and Myanmar, at altitudes of 2100-3400 m. Flowering: March-May.

Identification credit: Balkar Singh Photographed in Ghangria, Uttarakhand.

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