|Scientific Name:||Torreya californica Torr.|
|Taxonomic Source(s):||Farjon, A. 2010. A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.|
|Red List Category & Criteria:||Vulnerable A1cd ver 3.1|
|Reviewer(s):||Thomas, P. & Stritch, L.|
Past logging has virtually eliminated Torreya californica from parts of its historic range and also removed most of the large trees across almost all of its range. Regrowth is reported to be very slow. On this basis a past decline of more than 50% of mature trees in the population has been inferred over the past 150 years (three generations), leading to an assessment of Vulnerable under the A1 criterion.
|Previously published Red List assessments:|
|Range Description:||California Nutmeg is endemic to California where it is mainly found in the Coast Ranges and the Cascade-Sierra Nevada foothills. In coastal areas it is distributed from southwest Trinity County south to Monterey County. In the Cascade-Sierra Nevada foothills, it is distributed from Shasta County south to Tulare County.|
Native:United States (California)
|Range Map:||Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.|
|Population:||Populations are usually small and localized. The population is substantially reduced from what it was before but is now slowly recovering.|
|Current Population Trend:||Unknown|
|Habitat and Ecology:||Torreya californica is a scattered understorey tree usually growing in moist and shady places in hilly to mountainous terrain dominated by tall conifers, especially Sequoia sempervirens, Picea sitchensis and Pseudotsuga menziesii. In the western valleys of the Sierra Nevada it is associated with angiosperms, mainly Acer spp., Cornus nuttallii, Platanus occidentalis, and Alnus rubra and here it strictly adheres to stream banks in steep canyons at altitudes around 1,200 m a.s.l. Its altitudinal range is from near sea level (but usually above 200 m) in the Coast Ranges to 2,500 m a.s.l. in the Sierra Nevada. On serpentine rock it becomes a stunted tree or shrub and occurs on north-facing slopes in coastal chaparral. It is capable of resprouting following disturbance such as fire although regrowth is slow.|
|Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:||Yes|
|Generation Length (years):||50|
|Use and Trade:||In the past, Torreya californica was used for cabinet making, fencing and bridges, as it is rot resistant. Due to its current rarity it is no longer used. California Indians used it for their bows, seeds were roasted for food and some tribes (e.g. the Pomo) used the roots for basket weaving. T. californica is the most commonly cultivated species of its genus and can grow into an impressive, wide crowned tree with striking foliage and large, pendulous, plum-like green or glaucous seeds. It is almost exclusively used as an ornamental in large gardens or planted in arboreta. The name 'nutmeg' only refers to a superficial similarity with true nutmeg fruits (from Myristica fragrans, an angiosperm tree species).|
|Major Threat(s):||Logging in the late 19th and up to the mid 20th centuries virtually eliminated California Nutmeg from the Vaca Mountains of Napa and Solano counties, and considerably reduced populations in the Santa Cruz Mountains and lower Russian River area of Sonoma County (Howard 1992). Logging also eliminated many of the larger trees in the remainder of its range and resulted in a decline of mature trees in the total population, which is only now slowly being restored. As this species is dependent on forest cover, deforestation in parts of California has further contributed to a decline. On this basis it is reasonable to infer an historic decline in the number of mature trees of at least 50%. This decline has now ceased or virtually ceased.|
|Conservation Actions:||This species is known from several protected areas within its range.|
Farjon, A. 2010. A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.
Farjon, A. et al. 1998. Data collection forms for conifer species completed by the IUCN/SSC Conifer Specialist Group between 1996 and 1998.
Howard, J.L. 1992. Torreya californica. Available at: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/tree/torcal/all.html. (Accessed: 30 July 2010).
IUCN. 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2013.1). Available at: http://www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 12 June 2013).
|Citation:||Farjon, A. 2013. Torreya californica. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T34026A2840781.Downloaded on 22 May 2018.|
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