Taxus cuspidata


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Taxus cuspidata
Species Authority: Siebold & Zucc.
Infra-specific Taxa Assessed:
Common Name/s:
English Japanese Yew
Taxus baccata L. subspecies cuspidata (Siebold & Zucc.) Pilg.
Taxus baccata L. variety microcarpa Trautv.
Taxus cuspidata Siebold & Zucc. variety latifolia (Pilg.) Nakai
Taxus cuspidata Siebold & Zucc. variety microcarpa (Trautv.) S.Y.Hu
Taxonomic Notes: Two varieties are recognized: the nominate variety (var. cuspidata) occurs throughout the range of the species and var. nana which is only known from Japan and the Russian Far East. The occurrence of this latter variety is poorly documented; both its taxonomic status and its occurrence are in need of further investigation.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2010-12-15
Assessor/s: Katsuki, T. & Luscombe, D
Reviewer/s: Thomas, P. & Farjon, A.
Exploitation of this species has only affected subpopulations in certain parts of its extensive range, hence it is assumed that population reduction has been limited and has not had sufficient impact to warrant any assessment other than Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Recorded from the Russian Far East: Kuril Is., Sakhalin, Primorye; China: Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Shaanxi; North Korea; South Korea; and Japan. The extent of occurrence is in excess of 20,000 km2. The area of occupancy has not been estimated.
China (Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Shaanxi); Japan (Hokkaido, Honshu, Kyushu, Shikoku); Korea, Democratic People's Republic of; Korea, Republic of; Russian Federation (Kuril Is., Primoryi, Sakhalin)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The overall population trend is likely to be stable although there may have been some decline in areas where clear-felling of forests has occurred..
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Taxus cuspidata occurs sparsely in mixed conifer and conifer-deciduous broad-leaved forests in lowland to lower montane altitudes from 100 m to 1,600 m a.s.l. In NE China it occurs in conifer forest with Abies nephrolepis, Picea jezoensis, Pinus koraiensis, and Larix gmelinii var. olgensis, in Sakhalin Island and northern Japan with Abies sachalinensis, Picea glehnii, P. jezoensis, Larix kaempferi, and various angiosperm trees e.g. Acer spp., Betula spp., Populus maximowiczii, Juglans mandshurica, Sorbus aucuparia, Ulmus spp., and Kalopanax ricinifolium. Further south in Japan it is common in the understorey of woods with Acer spp., Ulmus davidiana var. japonica, Tilia japonica, Juglans ailanthifolia, Quercus mongolica var. grossesserata, and many other species of trees. It grows on a variety of soils derived from granitic, schistose or serpentine base rocks. The variety nana is mostly found growing on rocky sea coasts but may also occur on exposed rock outcrops in the interior.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species has been listed on CITES Appendix II in connection with the exploitation of its foliage for the extraction of chemicals active as an anti-cancer drug. This exploitation was localized and has not resulted in significant decline throughout the wide range of this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species has been listed on CITES Appendix II and is also recorded from various protected areas in most parts of its range.
Citation: Katsuki, T. & Luscombe, D 2013. Taxus cuspidata. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <>. Downloaded on 23 April 2014.
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