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yew family

the yew family, in the order Pinales, containing 6 genera and 30 species of evergreen trees and shrubs, distributed mainly in the Northern Hemisphere. The plants have many branches, covered with alternate, needlelike leaves. Pollen-bearing and ovule-bearing plants are usually separate; the pollen-bearing reproductive units are contained within conelike structures. The usually solitary seeds are covered by fleshy arils (berrylike or plumlike structures) that apparently aid in dispersal by animals. The seed tip is exposed in species of Austrotaxus.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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