The British or European Yew (Taxus baccata) is a familar sight in Great Britain. It has been found in churchyards since the Middle Ages and some specimens are very ancient indeed; the Fortingall Yew in Scotland is believed to be over two thousand years old.
Yew has various religious and occult connections but in England and Wales its most important historic use was as the bowstaves for the longbow which enabled the great successes of the English at home and abroad during the Middle Ages; as the French will confirm! Yew was also traditionally used for making lutes.
Most parts of the Yew, particularly the foliage, are highly poisonous but the red berries (strictly seed cones called arils) are not.
Additional Information: Wikipedia
10 October 2014