Torreya californica

California nutmeg

Plant Type: Tree
Sun: Partial Shade, Shade
Drainage: Medium, Well-draining
Water: Occasional
Height X Width: 40' X 20'
Santa Clara County Local: Yes
What do these mean?

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The California nutmeg is one of our endemic conifers, generally growing as lone specimens or in scattered, isolated groves in the Sierra foothills and coastal ranges from the Santa Cruz Mountains north. An impressive grove may be seen on the Mt. Umunhum Trail in the Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve. The California nutmeg grows in a conical form with dark green needles which are quite stiff and sharp. It is a wonderful specimen tree, but can also be grown as a hedge or in a container. It prefers some shade protection and well-draining soil. A slow grower, the California nutmeg can be considered a dwarf conifer during our lifetime - it takes decades to grow to twenty feet. The large fruit which appear on the female trees in the fall explain the common name.


Deer Resistant: Yes
Attractive to Bees: No
Attractive to Butterflies: No
Good Under Oaks: No
Evergreen or Deciduous: Evergreen