Yew berry: features
Meet: yew berry
Yew berry has other names: mahogany, yew European, negnijka, greenery. The plant was born on European soil, but has long spread in North Africa, the Carpathians, the Crimea, and the Caucasus. The yew grows in relict Belovezhskaya Pushcha in the Polish and Belarusian territories. Well takes root in central Russia.
An evergreen tree, depending on the variety, can grow by 1-28 m in height, but it gives rise very slowly: in about 4 years it is about a centimeter. If conditions permit, it can last 1.5-4 millennia.
The yew possesses a thick, often multi-crown or column-shaped; reddish gray bark; sprigs covered with pine needles: soft, flat and short. On young shoots, it is often yellowish, and grows green as it grows older. In some varieties - golden.
In early spring - from March to April - yew blooms. An important feature of an amazing tree is the cones in the form of a glass. If the usual conifers seeds ripen in cones, the yew are covered with fleshy roofing.Because the tree is called berry. Gardeners often plant a plant to decorate the landscape, because during the ripening of ruby “berries” against the background of pine needles it is very beautiful.
Varieties of yew for the middle band
In order for the yew to settle down well in the country and survive the winters, it is important to choose a frost-resistant variety. The best choice - stunted trees that can winter under the snow cover. Among the varieties of yew berry can be identified several.
- Grade "Elegancessima" quite unpretentious in the care and resistant to frost. It grows extremely slowly - by a meter in height over a dozen years, with the formation of a wide one and a half meter crown.
- "Samergold" has a high winter hardiness. An adult plant is a flat and wide shrub, with crescent needles of golden hue.
- Baccata is a rather unpretentious yew that can grow in the shade and in the sun, while stretching to 12-15 m and a dozen meters in width. Adult plant takes the form of a ball. His needles are dark green, the branches are closely fitted to one another.
- The yew berry FastigiataAurea grows into an evergreen tree with a column-like crown. First needles are light yellow, green with age.
- The variety Repandance is distinguished by quite rapid growth - by ten centimeters annually. As a result, it is pulled out into a meter-high lush bush with an asymmetrical crown, pale green needles. Such a yew loves the sun, in the shade it fades.
- The original variety Krzysztof is popular for its ornamental branches with green-yellow needles. Its crown is in the form of a column, the shoots are vertical. The plant grows to 1.2 m.
Features of growing yew in the country
- Planting yew berry is recommended at the end of the season - at the end of summer or September.
- Plant, leaving the root neck at ground level. It will take a pit 70 cm deep with a drainage layer of 10-15 cm.
- For planting yew is better to use sand and peat mixture, combining with light coniferous soil from the forest and complex mineral fertilizer. The plant loves moisture and slightly acidic or alkaline earth, can grow on clay, containing lime.
- When choosing a yew plant, it is important to familiarize yourself with the characteristics of a particular variety. Usually the plant tolerates shade and penumbra. It must be protected from drafts.
- It is necessary to shelter a young yew from sunburn in the spring after the snow melts and in winter from frost, using kraft paper or lapnik in the first case, and only lapnik in the second.An adult plant can withstand temperatures as low as -25 ° C. However, in a frost without a snowy winter, it should also be covered.
- In autumn, the yew berry is recommended to be mulched by 8-10 cm of sawdust around the trunk. Lay the mulch should also be after the monthly watering (during droughts) and loosening.
- To help the yew "wake up" in the spring, it can be fertilized with a special feed for coniferous trees.
- Yew berry can be used in landscape design, because it tolerates pruning and shade well. The plants form hedges, as well as planted in groups or alone next to rhododendrons, juniper and thuja.
Application of yew
The unique yew wood, which attracts with a palette of yellow, red or brown, has a great value, and becomes crimson in water. But the most important thing is not so much its decorativeness, as bactericidal properties. In the old days, to protect themselves from the epidemic, yew beams for the ceiling were constructed in the dwelling. Today, plywood from yew berry is used in the manufacture of furniture, musical instruments.
All the vegetable parts of the yew, except the pulp of the berries, are poisonous because they contain taxin - a substance that can cause choking and stop breathing.Forest animals eat young shoots of a tree, and birds peck out fruit pulp.
Alkaloids, obtained from the yew berry, are used for the release of certain medicines and in homeopathy. For example, yew needles are the basis of the antitumor drug Docetaxel. In folk medicine, plant parts are also used topically in the treatment of rheumatism and skin diseases.
Interesting facts about yew berry
- In ancient times, people were well aware that the plant is poisonous, so it was considered a tree of the dead. In the myths of Hercules, you can read about the terrible yew, creating shadows in the kingdom of Hades. It is known that the older the needles of a plant, the more toxic it is. It was not by chance that the yew branches drew furies in their hands.
- If you make a cup from a yew and give someone to drink wine from it, the death is not excluded. There is a written confirmation of this - a note by Pliny the Elder.
- The bactericidal properties of yew wood were used by the ancient Egyptians, who made sarcophagi from it. The tree was so valuable that in some feudal states it was used as a tribute.
- Yew wood bends well, so it was a popular material for onions.Such weapons often helped the warriors to defeat the enemy in the Middle Ages.
- In the park Earl Butthurst (UK) you can see a real garden miracle - a hedge of 11 meters tall yew berry. It takes 10 days to cut her hair, and she was planted back in the 18th century.
- In Scotland, the Poringel yew is still alive, in the shadow of which, according to legends, Pontius Pilate was walking as a child.
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