Flora of Northern Ireland
  • Taxus baccata L. - Yew
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Taxus baccata
© Alan Hill
Taxus baccata
© Stan Beesley
Taxus baccata
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(Map updated: March 2008)

Yew is usually encountered these days as a planted tree in churchyards, cemeteries, parks and estates. As a native wild plant its occurrence east of the Bann is now rare. Many of its surviving native populations are on inaccessible high mountain cliffs like those on Binevenagh, but in former times it was an important component of the vegetation of the sandy soils of the now cleared Magilligan flats. Its principal surviving areas in Northern Ireland as a natural self-sown tree are in the west on limestone.

The English name 'yew' is of Celtic derivation (iubhar in Irish). The town of Newry in Co. Down is named after this tree.

All names: Taxus baccata L.