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The Burren in County Clare, Ireland

The Burren is located south of Galway in County Clare, Ireland. The name Burren is comes from the Irish - bhoireann meaning a stony place. Its formation rests unspoiled since the ice-age and is composed of karstic limestone, the largest area in western Europe.

This area is approximately 300 square kilometers and can appear very bleak with significant glacial soil loss. It does, however, have sufficient soil to grow a wide variety of the unusual and rare plants.

Alpines and Mediterranean species grow together in this limestone.  The Burren is bordered to the west by the Atlantic Ocean and Galway Bay and is in the Northwest corner of Clare.

Alpine and Mediterranean Plants found in County Clare

Flowers of the Burren

The flowers below are not unique to The Burren, but nowhere else are these rare plants found in such an abundance or growing together in the same area.  Typically they are found in much different habitat, ranging from the mountains of Europe to the shores of the Mediterranean.   

Bird's Foot Trefoil
Mountain Aven
Early Purple Orchid
Burnet Rose
Bloody Cranesbill



Ireland, September 1999

Clonmacnoise - The Burren - The Dohlmans - Cliffs of Moher
- Glendalough - Fanore - More Highlights

updated: 12/28//07

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