Spring has sprung… well the Yew tree thinks so anyway. As one of our three native conifers, this tree doesn’t produce flowers as such, but instead something called strobili (or male cones). At the moment, in the north of Scotland, the male strobili of the Yew are bursting out of their bud scales and producing pollen. Allergy sufferers be aware, the OPALS allergy scale rate the pollen from a Yew Tree at 10 out of 10. Not surprising since this potent and tree, the oldest in Europe, gives us the chemotherapy drug Docetaxel. Local friends if you are visiting Brodie Castle, there have some wonderful Yew trees, so check out the male strobili that are flowering there just now.
More on the Yew, here:
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