Herbarium of University of Coimbra

Conservation Project on Taxus


The RBG Edinburgh Yew Conservation Hedge Project is growing a few accessions of Taxus baccata L. of Portuguese origin. This project is part of the The International Conifer Conservation Programme of the Botanic Garden and aims to gradually replace the existing perimeter hedge by one of yew only. The new plants are propagated from either heritage trees or from native populations where the species is threatened.

In collaboration with the Herbarium of Coimbra (COI), Centro de Interpretação da Serra da Estrela (CISE) and Parque Natural da Serra da Estrela (PNSE), seeds were collected in the Park in 2011, near Manteigas, both in Poço do Inferno and São Pedro, Barroca do Teixo. These populations became part of the project following the great fire of summer 2005 when the priority habitat of European interest 9580-Mediterranean forest of Taxus baccata was largely decimated.

The seeds were cultivated in the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and the young plants were transplanted this year (2016) to their location in the perimeter hedge of the Garden, south side. There are three plants from Poço do Inferno (fig.1; IDs: 20112205 A, and B C), plus four plants from Barroca do Teixo (fig. 2; IDs: 20112206 A, B, C and D). They all look vigorous and we hope they will do very well in the many, many years to come!

COI thanks to all participants in this conservation effort.