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Home / Private Collections / Starz / Science / Plants / UK Trees & Shrubs / Yew / March - Common or English Yew (Taxus baccata L.)
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March - Common or English Yew (Taxus baccata L.)


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Yew showing male flower - now fully in bloom and shedding pollen. This slow growing conifer tree is now protected in many countries. It was extensively used in the past to make bows and arrows and expensive furniture. It slow growth meant that it slowly disappeared from many areas. It can still be found in Southern England in woods and particularly in protected areas, such as Churchyards. It grows up to 20 meters and can live for up to 1000 years. It flowers in March. The yew is a dioecious species (with separate male and female plants). This picture shows the male flowers developing. In Autumn female trees produce bright red fruits. Many churchyards have Yew trees as they were thought to protect people from unquiet spirits and witches. Old houses often have either a yew tree or a holly bush growing next to the main entrance for protective purposes. This picture was taken at Ampthill in Bedfordshire- mid March 2006.

24th Mar 2006 by Diane Earl

Biology, Science

Key Stages:
Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Key Stage 4+

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