California nutmeg Taxaceae Torreya californica Torr. Listen to the Latin symbol: TOCA Other Fact Sheets
Leaf: Persistent, linear-lanceolate flat needles, 1 to 3 inches long, 2-ranked, stiff with a very sharp point. Strongly aromatic.
Flower: Species is dioecious; male flowers are small, elliptical, pale yellow, and occur at the base of the leaves; female flowers are tiny, consisting of an ovule surrounded by a fleshy sac and are borne on current year twigs.
Fruit: An aril rather than a cone; similar to a very large olive with a fleshy outer green covering and an inner, yellow-brown, thick walled seed. Takes two years to mature.
Twig: Slender, mostly paired, yellow-green when young turning reddish brown as they mature.
Bark: Mature bark is thin and gray-brown with shallow, irregular fissures and scaly ridges.
Form: Small to moderate sized tree (20 to 70 feet tall and 1 to 2 feet in diameter) with conical or rounded crown depending on age and growing conditions, slender, spreading, and somewhat drooping branches.

Looks like: Pacific yew - Florida torreya - Chinese plum-yew
leaf flower fruit twig bark form1 map
Additional Range Information:
Torreya californica is native to North America.
Range may be expanded by planting.
See states reporting California nutmeg.
External Links:
USDAFS Additional Silvics
USDA Plants Database
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Photos and text by: John Seiler,
Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera,
and John Peterson
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