Torreya californica
Common name: 
TOR-ree-uh ka-li-FORN-i-ka
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Evergreen conifer, to 65(115) ft [20(35) m] high, conical then rounded; bark gray-brown, longitudinally fissured; branches spreading and slightly pendulous.  Needles dark green, nearly two ranked, outspreading, stiff, flattened above, 3-6 cm long, tapering to a spiny point, about 3 mm wide.  The male (pollen) cones are 6 mm long, grouped in lines along the underside of a shoot. The female (seed) cones are single or 2-5 together, they mature into an ovoid shape 2.5–4 cm long with a fleshy covering, dark green to purple at full maturity.  All parts of the plant are aromatic when crushed.
  • Sun to partial shade, best if sheltered from wind
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 7       Endemic to California; it is found in the Coast Ranges and also the Cascade-Sierra Nevada foothills.  Alhough not rare, it is not an abundant species.
  • Torreya: named after John Torrey, 1796-1873, noted American botanist
  • Oregon State Univ. Campus:  south of the Native American Longhouse Eena Haws
Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit, in a stand of other trees

    plant habit, in a stand of other trees

  • branch


  • branchlets with male cones

    branchlets with male cones

  • needles


  • needles, underside

    needles, underside

  • male cones and needles

    male cones and needles

  • trunk, bark

    trunk, bark