#27 Torreya californica CALIFORNIAN NUTMEG (a.k.a ‘Stinking Yew’)

A close relative of the Yew, from the cool slopes and canyons of California. This tree is scarce in the wild and infrequently grown in gardens.

The first specimens of this tree were brought to this country by William Lobb in 1851. He discovered it in 1849 on an expedition sponsored by Veitch nursery of Exeter. Initially it was thought the fruit could be used as a spice but the tree has no commercial value and requires both male and female plants to produce fruits.

This specimen was supplied by the St Barbe Baker nursery near Southampton and planted here by Mr Hammond in 1916.

From Mr Hammond’s Plant Register: