This yellow-fruited yew serves as a good backdrop to the Terrace Garden.
Many are familiar with the common yew (Taxus baccata), which is the longest living of our native trees, although its natural range extends throughout Europe and into north Africa and western Asia. Yew wood is particularly hard and throughout history it has been used in the production of bows, but has also been used for the manufacture of furniture. Due to the longevity of individual trees the yew has also been considered a sacred tree, with Druids building their temples near yew trees, and Christians building churches in close proximity to ancient specimens. T. baccata is also highly adaptable to a variety of conditions, growing in most soil types. The fruits of this species are typically red, and comprise a nut-like seed which sits within a fleshy cup (aril), and although many consider the whole fruit to be poisonous, it is only the seed which is toxic. In this selection the aril is an attractive golden yellow, which distinguishes it from the more familiar yew. Also referred to as T. baccata ‘Fructu-luteo’ this yellow-fruited form was first noted in the grounds of the Bishop of Kildare in Glasnevin in 1817, though this plant was believed to have originated from a parent plant at Clontarf Castle in Dublin.