For the commercially established process of paclitaxel production with Taxus chinensis plant cell culture, the size of plant cell aggregates and often observed phenotypic changes in coloration during cultivation have long been acknowledged as intangible parameters. So far, the variability of aggregates and coloration of cells are challenging parameters for any viability assay. The aim of this study was to investigate simple and non-toxic methods for viability determination of Taxus cultures in order to provide a practicable, rapid, robust and reproducible way to sample large amounts of material. A further goal was to examine whether T. chinensis aggregate cell coloration is related to general cell viability and might be exploited by microscopy and image analysis methods to gain easy access to general cell viability. The Alamar Blue assay, newly introduced for T. chinensis cells, was found to be exceptional eligible for viability estimation. Moreover, aggregate coloration, as a morphologic attribute, was successfully quantified by image analysis methods and found to be a good and traceable indicator of T. chinensis viability.