Idaho Fish and Games issues warning about pretty exotic evergreen-

A news release with picture of two dead moose leads an important warning about the Japanese yew, an low evergreen with a red berry popular with people during the holidays and as a landscape plant.  The landscape part of the warning is becoming more relevant as new people move to the countryside and plant exotic vegetation to landscape their second homes.

This is potent poisonous plant to moose and many other animals including dogs, though they are not likely to eat it.  The yew contains the poison, taxine. Animals who eat it rarely survive. A good mouthful can even kill a cow or horse within a half hour. It is, of course poison to humans too.

Photo of the Japanese yew

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

2 Responses to Idaho Fish and Game: Japanese yew is fatal to moose and other big game

  1. avatar DB says:

    Interesting. However, our native Pacific yew (Taxus brevifolia) provide food and thermal cover for wintering elk and moose in North Idaho.

    • avatar Toby says:

      My niece’s boyfriend cleared bushes out from their new home. He brought them to our farm and threw them out to our goat herd to munch on. We woke up to six dead goats and two have miscarried. I thought it was some sort of pine. We took a branch to our vet and found out it was Japanese Yew.

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