Special Issue on Conservation of Taxus Spp. (Yew)
  • Lead Guest Editor
    • Department of Geography, Rajiv Gandhi University, Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh, India
  • Special Issue Information

    Taxus baccata Linn, is a valuable plant for taxol or paclitaxel extraction used in the preparation of anti-cancer drugs (breast and ovarian cancer), kaposi’s sarcoma (an AIDS related cancer) and over 20 such other indications. It is a slow growing evergreen tree found in the temperate forests in altitude ranging between 1500 m to 3000 m. Around 2 to 3 million kg of biomass is harvested annually where as the sustainable rate of harvesting is estimated to be 0.6 million kg per year. The tree has spreading branchlets and leaves arranged in two whorls which are 2.5 to 3.5 cm long and linear. They are glossy green above and pale beneath which distinguishes the tree from Cephalotaxus and Tsuga which have leave undersurface white. Fruits are 0.7 to 1 cm long with succulent bright red disc that covers the blackish olive green seed. Taxus flowers during March to May and seeds are produced during October to November. The native areas of the plant are Algeria, Australia, Belgium, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Iran, Italy, Japan, Korea, Republic of, Lithuania, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romani, Russian Federation, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Province of China, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States of America, Vietnam. The plant is threatened and enlisted in the negative lists of export Appendix II of CITES. Therefore, there is a great need of conservation and regeneration of the plant in these areas.

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