Yew

Foods for free. Anything you want to post about wild foods or foraging, hunting and fishing. Please note, this section includes pictures of hunting.

Sorry to say that Selfsufficientish or anyone who posts on here is liable to make a mistake when it comes to identification so we can't be liable for getting it wrong.
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David
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Yew

Post: #45181 David
Thu Jan 04, 2007 9:53 pm

Is it true that the yew berry is not poisonous - only the seed itself:?
David :cooldude:

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Post: #45187 Chickpea
Thu Jan 04, 2007 11:14 pm

I've read that but I don't fancy testing it. Anyway, if yew berries were such a delicacy Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall would have made a coulis out of them to serve with roast wild partridge by now.

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Hedgehogpie
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Post: #45193 Hedgehogpie
Thu Jan 04, 2007 11:57 pm

Right. This is a 'kids, don't try this at home' moment.

Yew is poisonous. Every bit of the tree - except the fleshy red bit around the seed. The toxin it contains affects the heart, and if you were to even nick a seed whilst eating the flesh, you could potentially kill yourself. Not to be messed with really, there are plenty of far safer wild foods to be had.

Having said that, I have tried it. The flesh is snotty, sticky, and slightly sweet and fruity. You can see why birds love it, but then they're immune to the toxin which is so dangerous to us. I wouldn't recommend anyone to give it a go though. Honestly.

No really, don't.

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Post: #45200 Muddypause
Fri Jan 05, 2007 12:59 am

My reading confirms that the red flesh is not poisonous, but the seed itself is. But look at the birds - they eat the whole thing, and just shit out the pip, undigested. Not saying that this would happen if we tried it - just interesting to note. It maybe means the species of tree wouldn't have survived if the red flesh was not specifically non-toxic. Evolved symbiosis.

I had thought that Richard Mabey mentioned yew in Food For Free, but it doesn't seem to be in there.

Be sure to let us know if your trials prove to be fatal, won't you.
Stew

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Post: #45209 caithnesscrofter
Fri Jan 05, 2007 1:43 am

I bet you probably read it in Plants for a Future Muddypause. He confirms what Hedgehogpie has said! Ken Fern loves the things.

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Post: #45226 pskipper
Fri Jan 05, 2007 9:37 am

Just a small note, they are not good for birds with a crop such as chooks and pheasants as the grit grinds the seeds and releases the poisons!

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Post: #45227 Wombat
Fri Jan 05, 2007 10:09 am

pskipper wrote:Just a small note, they are not good for birds with a crop such as chooks and pheasants as the grit grinds the seeds and releases the poisons!


Makes sense!

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Our website on living more sustainably in the suburbs! - http://www.underthechokotree.com/

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David
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Post: #45255 David
Fri Jan 05, 2007 12:48 pm

Muddypause wrote:My reading confirms that the red flesh is not poisonous, but the seed itself is.

Be sure to let us know if your trials prove to be fatal, won't you.

I did eat the flesh - spat the pip and I am not a ghost writer - I think -[therefore I am]

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Jack
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Post: #45310 Jack
Fri Jan 05, 2007 8:06 pm

Gidday

And some reckon tanning a hide is dangerous. David, you are either braver or more stupid than me but I think it would have to be the first of those.
Cheers
just a Rough Country Boy.

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Cheezy
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Post: #45769 Cheezy
Tue Jan 09, 2007 4:25 pm

I recently planted a yew hedge (well 3 years ago, which is recent for yews!)

And when I was looking up cheap sources for the saplings I found out that there is a lot of research going on into the toxicity, and in particular how very small amounts might be medically benfical particulary for heart conditions. A bit like foxglove I suppose.

The point being, if you have a big enough hedge there are people who will actually come and collect the trimmings off yew (sorry couldn't help it).
It's not easy being Cheezy
So you know how great Salsify is as a veg, what about Cavero Nero,great leaves all through the winter , then in Spring sprouting broccolli like flowers! Takes up half as much room as broccolli

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cazzie
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Post: #46971 cazzie
Tue Jan 23, 2007 2:57 pm

It is also being used to treat breast ovarian and lung cancer under the trade name of Taxol.
Yes, I have eaten the fleshy parts (arils) and yes, they were nice - although a little slimy as someone already mentioned. Incidentally,although the hundreds of species of yew have red arils, there is only one that has yellow arils, Taxus baccata Fructo Lutea, and if anyone finds a plant PLEASE TELL ME! I have been searching for months, I got some cuttings on the go but I'm not noted for my patience :cry:
RARE OUESSANT SHEEP IN HEREFORDSHIRE


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