Tropical Fruit Forum - International Tropical Fruit Growers



Author Topic: Plum Yew (Cephalotaxus)  (Read 784 times)

Caesar

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 332
    • PR
    • View Profile
Plum Yew (Cephalotaxus)
« on: October 26, 2016, 11:51:08 PM »
Does anyone have any experience with these guys? The information I've found online is limited. So far, I've read they're grown for both nuts and fruit in Japan, that most varieties are unpalatable (with supposedly either "Nana", "Fastigiata" or "Drupacea" tasting good), and that they enjoy a warm-yet-shady environment (or cool and sunny, in a temperate clime). One website likens their taste to "a plum dipped in pine sap". That's all I got, as most of the info out there focuses on their ornamental traits. IMO, any tree that gives a good-tasting fruit-nut combo is good.

Anyone got anything else? Is it potentially worthwhile as a good (or at least passable) backyard fruit & nut?

Citradia

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 582
    • USA/NC/Old Fort/6B
    • View Profile
Re: Plum Yew (Cephalotaxus)
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2016, 10:28:34 PM »
Be careful researching yews. Taxus baccata, Europe yew is highly poisonous red berries. I looked up cephalotaxus for plum yew and saw where squirrels use them as food source. I wouldn't risk my life eating a yew berry.

Caesar

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 332
    • PR
    • View Profile
Re: Plum Yew (Cephalotaxus)
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2016, 11:03:03 PM »
I appreciate the concern (doubly so for any thread readers unfamiliar with Yews).  :)

I know true Yew berries are a mild treat on a lethal tree (not worth it IMO), but Cephalotaxus is a "yew" in name only, not closely related to the Taxaceae. It's in a separate family, with several species having edible berries and/or nuts (on non-toxic trees) or medicinal qualities (which I don't know much about). Besides, while the foliage is similar, the fruits seem very easy to tell apart. Provided you know what you have (which shouldn't be too hard if you know what to look for), Cephalotaxus definitely seems like a worthwhile fruit/nut tree if you have a tasty variety. Besides, I have a feeling I could grow it in my neck of the woods no problem (I don't think true Yew would survive here).

So... Does anyone have any direct experience with Cephalotaxus as a food plant?

Edit/P.S.: Cephalotaxus has edible pulp and seed kernel. I can't stress enough that while Taxus pulp is edible (yet mildly flavored), the seed and the rest of the tree is lethally toxic, and there is risk that you could ingest unintended plant matter with the aril. Again, Taxus is lethal; don't try it.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2016, 11:11:48 PM by Caesar »

 

Copyright © Tropical Fruit Forum - International Tropical Fruit Growers