Taxus Baccata is a species of evergreen tree growing naturally in Europe, northwest Africa, northern Iran, and southwest Asia. Originally known as the yew tree, it is primarily grown as an ornamental. However, most parts of the plant are poisonous, with toxins that can be absorbed through the skin and inhaling. Consumption of even a small amount of the foliage can result in death.
The potential age of yews is impossible to determine accurately and is subject to much dispute. There is rarely any wood as old as the entire tree and with the branches often becoming hollow with age, it can make ring counts impossible. Yew’s are estimated to reach 400 to 600 years of age, with archaeological research suggesting the oldest yews, such as the Fortingall Yew in Scotland, may be in the range of 2,000 years old, placing them among the oldest plants in Europe.