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Torreya taxifolia

Phonetic Spelling
TOR-ree-uh taks-ih-FOH-lee-uh
Description

Florida Torreya is a needled evergreen conifer in the yew family native to riparian areas Georgia and Florida.  The tree is dioecious (male and female cones on separate trees) and grows 30-50 feet tall and wide. It prefers part shade to shade in constantly moist well-drained soils and can be used as an ornamental or specimen tree. It performs well in the high humidity of the south but it is difficult to find this tree in the nursery industry. The Biltmore Estate in NC has been successfully growing disease-free trees.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Scale is an insect problem.  Fungal blight, mushroom root rot, leaf spot, and needle necrosis are devastating natural populations of this plant putting it on endangered species lists.

More information on Torreya.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#conifer#winter interest#high maintenance#endangered#needled evergreen#malodorous#heavy shade tolerant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#conifer#winter interest#high maintenance#endangered#needled evergreen#malodorous#heavy shade tolerant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Torreya
    Species:
    taxifolia
    Family:
    Taxaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Had been used for fence posts
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    North America
    Distribution:
    GA, FL, NC
    Dimensions:
    Height: 30 ft. 0 in. - 50 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 30 ft. 0 in. - 50 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Pyramidal
    Maintenance:
    High
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    24-60 feet
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5a, 5b, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Male cones appear in the axils of the needles of the prior year. Female cones appear in the axils of the needles of the current year and take 18 months to ripen. A fleshy drupe-like cone is up to 1.3 inches long and surrounds a single seed. Fruits are striped with purple and the seed matures to reddish-brown. Squirrels help disperse the seeds.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Description:
    Non-flowering
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Blue
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leaf Type:
    Needles
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Bright green, stiff, glossy linear needles 1 1/2" long and 1/8" wide have an unpleasant fragrance when crushed. Two bluish white stomatal bands run on the bottom side of the leaves.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Orange
    Surface/Attachment:
    Furrowed
    Bark Description:
    Mature bark is thick and irregularly divided by shallow fissures. The dark-brown outer bark often is tinged with orange while the inner bark is yellow.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Stiff green twigs. 2-year old branches gray. Stems emit a foul odor when crushed.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Riparian
    Landscape Theme:
    Rain Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Screen/Privacy
    Small Tree
    Attracts:
    Small Mammals
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Heavy Shade
    Humidity
    Problems:
    Frequent Disease Problems