Sa Carcara Yew

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)

Taxus baccata (Taxaceae)

Listed among the 20 most beautiful “patriarchs” of the Italian forests, this majestic yew specimen is definitely worth a visit. The tree grows on the Sa Carcara plateau, in a beautiful area of central-eastern Sardinia featuring centuries-old forests, canyons and white “nuraghi” (the typical stone edifices with a truncated cone shape).

This yew has a 17.3-ft trunk circumference and reaches the height of 39 ft. It’s some 500 years old and features a nice broad and globular foliage. In 2001, the “Sa Carcara” yew was declared a natural monument.

There are many legends about this tree, which has been known since ancient times as “the tree of death”, due to its mysterious origins and the toxicity of its seeds and leaves.

How to get there:

Leave the car in Sedda Ar Baccas and continue on foot for about 328 ft, eventually reaching the plateau of Sa Carcara: that’s where the monumental tree grows; the Tomb of Giants is not far away from it.

Botanical Card:

This species is usually found as a polycormic evergreen shrub. It is most abundant in Europe and Asia, but it also grows in some parts of North Africa.

Yews grow along the temperate mountain belt where winters are snowy, but not too cold, while summers are usually warm. It’s a sciophilous species that thrives in shade, prefers calcareous soils and never grows alone in a forest, as it’s usually found among beeches, maples and conifers at heights between 984ft and 5.250 ft.

This species is toxic, as seeds and leaves contain taxine, an extremely poisonous alkaloid. Only fruits and fleshy arils are edible and highly appreciated by birds.

Due to its toxicity and difficulty of dosage, any potential pharmaceutical use would not be feasible.

The wood is used for cabinetry, thanks to its acclaimed features: elasticity, toughness, heaviness and hardness.

Photo source:

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)


08040 Urzulei, Loc. Sedda ar Baccas(OG)

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