Abstract To achieve a better understanding of accumulation of paclitaxel and related taxanes in Himalayan yew (Taxus wallichiana Zucc.) callus mass, induction and growth of calli from needles and petioles under light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and production of paclitaxel and baccatin were investigated. Calli were induced from needles and petioles on Gamborg's B5 medium supplemented with 1 mg·l-1 kinetin and 4 mg·l-1 2,4-D under different com-binations of blue and red LEDs. Calli were further cultured in that medium under the same lighting conditions. Callus induction from needles and petioles and growth was better under blue LEDs than under red LEDs and fluorescent light. The combinations of blue and red LEDs produced variable results. The paclitaxel content of these calli was quantified by high-performance liquid chromatography. The paclitaxel content of calli derived from needles was 0.00628% and the 10-DAB (10-Deacetylbaccatin III) content was 0.00366%. The paclitaxel content of calli derived from petioles was 0.00412%, and no 10-DAB was detected.