Rare Species

Maritime flora

Some of the most notable flora that grows on Howth Head is localised and is rare in other areas of Ireland. Some examples include Sea Wormwood, Frosted Orache, Bloody Crane’s-bill, Knotted Clover and Bird’s-foot Clover.

The many areas of exposed rocks make excellent habitats for lichen, and the Earlscliff area especially is recognised as a nationally important site for supporting black, yellow and grey lichens.

Red Data Book species

The Red Data Book is a list of plant and animal species that are legally protected. At Howth Head, a number of threatened plants have been recorded; Green-winged Orchid, Bird’s-foot, Rough Poppy, Hairy Violet, Betony and Pennyroyal.


A specific type of insect, Phaonia exoleta, occurs on Howth Head that has only ever been recorded in one other location in Ireland – at Deerpark in south Dublin. 

A rare type of beetle, Trechus rubens, inhabits parts of the sea cliffs.

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