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Torreya grandis

Torreya grandis
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Product Information

Scientific name: Torreya grandis  Fortune ex Lindley  1857

Synonyms:Caryotaxus grandis (Fortune ex Lindl.) Henkel & W.Hochst., Torreya nucifera var. grandis (Fortune ex Lindl.) Pilg., Tumion grande (Fortune ex Lindl.) Greene, Tunion grande (Fortune ex Lindl.) Greene

Common names:Chinese nutmeg tree, Chinese nutmeg yew, Fei shu (Chinese)



Tree to 25 m tall, with trunk to 0.5(-2) m in diameter. Bark yellowish brown to grayish brown, becoming dark gray and deeply furrowed between narrow, irregular ridges. Crown dense, becoming broadly conical to broadly dome-shaped with age, with upwardly angled to horizontal branches bearing pairs of horizontal or drooping branchlets densely clothed with slightly separated foliage. Twigs passing through greenish yellow to grayish yellow or yellowish brown in their second and third years. Leaves scarcely scented when crushed, (0.7-)1-2.5(-4.5) cm long, 2-3.5 mm wide, stiff and slightly drooping, shiny bright to dark green and usually flat around the midrib above or with shallow grooves extending less than halfway and with sunken brown stomatal bands beneath. Individual needles usually straight and nearly parallel-sided, though slightly wider near the base, tapering very gradually and then abruptly to the roundly triangular or rounded tip with a sharp point and abruptly to the broadly rounded, nearly symmetrical base on a very short petiole 0.5-1 mm long. Pollen cones pale yellow, about 7-8 mm long and 4-5 mm across. Seeds with aril dark green to pale purplish brown with a thin, white waxy film, (1.8-)2-4.5(-6) cm long and (1-)1.2-2.5 cm in diameter. Female gametophyte tissue inside the light brown stony layer only slightly wrinkled.

In scattered localities across east-central China, from southern Jiangsu to northern Fujian west to northeastern Guizhou. Solitary or forming small groves in various temperate forest types in the mountains and adjacent lowlands; 200-1,400 m.


Conservation Status

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern

(This species has a wide range and is known from many localities. Whilst there would have been population reduction in the past due to exploitation for its timber and general forest clearance at lower elevations for agricultural expansion, as the seed of this species is sought after both for its oil and to be eaten, mature trees have generally been preserved. Hence any reduction is likely to be well below 30% and probably lower than 20%)



Farjon, A. (2010). A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.

Eckenwalder, J.E. (2009) Conifers of the World: The Complete Reference. Timber Press, Portland.

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. Cambridge, UK /Gland, Switzerland


Copyright © Aljos Farjon, James E. Eckenwalder, IUCN, Conifers Garden. All rights reserved.

Product CodeTOR8WE2C2

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