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Taxaceae, the yew family, in the order Pinales, contains 6 genera and 30 species of evergreen trees and shrubs. The usually solitary seeds are covered by fleshy arils (berrylike or plumlike structures) that apparently aid in dispersal by animals. Taxaceae are a major source of medicinal compounds, particularly the anticancer/cardiovascular drug Taxol (paclitaxel). Paclitaxel was first isolated from Taxus brevifolia (pacific yew tree) Taxaceae in the sixties last century (Wani, Taylor, Wall, Coggon, & McPhail, 1971), and its derivative Taxotere1 was clinically introduced 30 years later for the treatment of mainly ovarian and breast cancers.

Taxus Amentotaxus Torreya