Torreya californica Torr.
California nutmeg, California-nutmeg
Taxaceae (Yew Family)
USDA Symbol: toca
A small, understory tree, 15-50 ft. tall, that looks like a miniature yew or glossy-leaved redwood. The branches are slender and spreading and the narrow leaves are stiff and dark green. The tree bears green, nutmeg-like fruits with purple markings. Strongly aromatic tree with conical or rounded crown and rows of slender, spreading branches.
The name California Nutmeg refers to the resemblance of the aromatic seeds, with a deeply folded seed coat, to those of the unrelated commercial spice, nutmeg (Myristica fragrans Houtt.). Stinking-cedar alludes to the disagreeable resinous odor of crushed foliage and other parts. Native Americans used to make bows from the strong wood.
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Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Notes: Pollen cones whitish.
Native Distribution: CA mts. from Santa Cruz to Mendocino & Tulare to Tehama Cos.
Native Habitat: Cool, humid, wooded slopes
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil Description: Moist, well-drained soils.
Conditions Comments: Not Available
PropagationDescription: Propagation from seed is possible.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA
Recommended Species Lists
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Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Torreya californica in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Torreya californica in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Torreya californica
MetadataRecord Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff