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Taxus baccata | by green_lover (your COMMENTS are welcome :))
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Taxus baccata

Polish name: cis pospolity.

Latine name: Taxus baccata

 

Taxus baccata is a conifer native to western, central and southern Europe, northwest Africa, northern Iran and southwest Asia. Originally and still widely known in English as just Yew, the later discovery of other very similar related species has led to qualification as European Yew, Common Yew or English Yew where detail of which species of Taxus is required.

All parts of the tree are highly toxic—except the bright red aril surrounding the seed, enabling ingestion and dispersal by birds—due to cyanide and the toxic alkaloid taxine. The plant remains toxic, even when wilted or dried. Horses may die from a mouthful of yew, and a 1/4 lb of the plant will kill an adult horse in 15 minutes. The tree should be fenced off or removed from pasture land to prevent grazing animals from consuming it.

The yew is often found in churchyards from England and Ireland to Galicia; some of these trees are exceptionally large (over 3 m diameter) and likely to be over 2,000 years old, long predating the churches they are beside and betokening an earlier sacred site.

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Taken on October 17, 2007