Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Torreya californica

Higher Taxonomy
Family: TaxaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Common Name: YEW FAMILY
Habit: Shrub or tree, evergreen; dioecious. Leaf: alternate, linear, decurrent, tip acute; not in bundles, generally appearing 2-ranked. Pollen Cone: with stamen-like structures. Seed: 1 at tip of short twig, partly or completely enclosed by subtending aril; coat woody; cotyledons 2.
Genera In Family: 5 genera, 16 species: northern hemisphere; some Taxus species widely used in landscaping.
eFlora Treatment Author: Matthew H. Hils
Scientific Editor: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: TorreyaView Description 

Common Name: TORREYA
Habit: Tree. Stem: trunk of regular width; branches horizontal; wood aromatic. Pollen Cone: with 6--8 whorls of 4 stamen-like structures.
Etymology: (John Torrey, New York botanist, 1796--1873)
Torreya californica Torr.
Stem: trunk to 20(25) m, < 1.5 m wide; bark +- smooth or fissured, brown, tinged orange. Leaf: +- 2-ranked, dark green adaxially, +- yellow-green abaxially, with 2 longitudinal, +- yellow grooves. Seed: 25--45 mm, oblong; coat +- longitudinally grooved.
Ecology: Shady moist canyons in forest or woodland, occasionally chaparral; Elevation: 10--2100 m. Bioregional Distribution: NCo, NCoR, CaRF, s CaRH, SN, CCo, SnFrB, n SCoRI.
Unabridged Synonyms: Torreya myristica Hook.; Tumion californicum (Torr.) Greene
Jepson eFlora Author: Matthew H. Hils
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Jepson Video for Torreya californica

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Botanical illustration including Torreya californica

botanical illustration including Torreya californica

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Citation for this treatment: Matthew H. Hils 2012, Torreya californica, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 20, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 20, 2024.

Torreya californica
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©2018 Neal Kramer
Torreya californica
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©2024 Barry Rice
Torreya californica
click for enlargement
©2018 Neal Kramer
Torreya californica
click for enlargement
©2006 George W. Hartwell
Torreya californica
click for enlargement
©2024 Barry Rice

More photos of Torreya californica
in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Torreya californica:
NCo, NCoR, CaRF, s CaRH, SN, CCo, SnFrB, n SCoRI.
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).