Taxus baccata otherwise known as the English yew or European yew is a strange and enchanting member of the conifer family. It has the wondrous ability to live for thousands of years, some of the oldest being around 6000 years old and surviving with only 20% of the tree is still alive. The magical Yew has the unusual skill to pause all new growth for decades even centuries when its desired state is achieved, this makes it impossible to date by ring count alone like a conventional tree. When the branches grow top heavy and spit, its branches can take root upon contact with the ground establishing a new foothold to endure on once more. The bark, leaves and seeds are extremely poisonous and has killed many throughout history, only the red fleshy pulp surrounding the seed is edible (although I wouldn't dare to try it myself). The yew has always been a sacred tree to Druids and Pagans, representing the duality of immortality and death at the same time. The Taxine alkaloids in the Yew are absorbed quickly from the intestine and in high enough quantities can cause death due to general cardiac failure, cardiac arrest or respiratory failure. Taxines are also absorbed efficiently via the skin and Taxus species should thus be handled with care and preferably with gloves. Baking in the heat of the summertime sun, the yew perspires hallucinogenic taxine gasses. There are a number of historical records of people intentionally resting under its canopy in order to feel its hallucinogenic effects. The Yew tree was a popular evergreen to plant or lay near the deceased and can be found among ancient burial mounds and Church grounds all over the United Kingdom still to this day, usually by a south facing Church entrance.