Taxaceae (Yew Family)
Rocky limestone pavement, cliffs and woodlands
One of Ireland’s few native evergreen trees found mostly in prostrate form in the Burren, leaves dark glossy green, bark red-brown, scaley. The male yew trees have small cones while the female yew produces bright red berries which contain poisonous seeds.
Yew trees are amongst the oldest in Ireland with some notable trees occurring with a girth of over 6m. Highly regarded by our ancients yew trees have a long history within Irish culture. It is said that Saint Patrick planted yew trees during his time in Ireland. Many individual specimens were regarded as sacred, and as a consequence were left without any human interference.
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