Description from Flora of China
Taxus baccata Linnaeus subsp. cuspidata (Siebold & Zuccarini) Pilger; T. baccata subsp. cuspidata var. latifolia Pilger; T. baccata var. microcarpa Trautvetter; T. caespitosa Nakai; T. cuspidata var. latifolia (Pilger) Nakai; T. cuspidata var. microcarpa (Trautvetter) Kolesnikov.
Trees to 20 m tall; trunk to 1-1.5 m d.b.h.; bark reddish brown, with shallow fissures; winter bud scales persistent at base of branchlets, overlapping, ridged dorsally, tapered apically.
Leafy branchlets "V"-shaped in cross section in living state. Leaves borne at 75-95° to branchlet axis, subsessile; blade dark green and glossy adaxially, linear, almost equally wide
throughout length, slightly falcate, 1-2.5(-4) cm × 2.5-3 mm, midvein not papillate abaxially, stomatal bands tawny yellow, 0.6-0.7 mm wide, at least 2 × as wide as marginal bands,
marginal bands ca. 0.2 mm wide, base cuneate, ± asymmetric, margin revolute, apex usually shortly mucronate, mucro 0.1-0.3 mm. Pollen cones ovoid or subglobose, ca. 3.5 mm;
peduncle 0.5-1 mm; microsporophylls 9-14, each with 5-8 pollen sacs. Aril purplish red when ripe, lustrous. Seed ovoid or trigonous-ovoid, ca. 6 × 4-4.5 mm, distally with 3 or 4 or more
obtuse ridges, apex with small, obtuse mucro; hilum usually triangular or quadrangular. Pollination spring, seed maturity autumn.
Only var. cuspidata, described here, occurs in China; var. nana Rehder occurs in Japan.
The wood used in building construction, furniture manufacture, and as a carving material. The heartwood yields a red dye, oil is extracted from the seeds, and a compound used to treat
diabetes is extracted from the wood, bark, leaves, and roots.
Acid soils in cold, humid places; 500-1000 m. Heilongjiang, E Jilin, Liaoning, Shaanxi [Japan, Korea, E Russia (Kurile Islands, Primorye, Sakhalin)].