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California Nutmeg Torreya californica (Taxaceae) HEIGHT to 20m. Broadly conical tree with a stout bole in mature specimens, producing high-quality timber. BARK Reddish grey with narrow ridges. BRANCHES long and almost horizontal in mature trees, supporting descending lines of greenish shoots. LEAVES Needle-like with two pale greyish bands on the underside; grow in a row on each side of shoot, and smell of sage if crushed. REPRODUCTIVE PARTS Trees are usually either male or female. Male flowers resemble small yellowish catkins, borne on undersides of shoots. Fruits are ovoid, 5cm long, and green with pur¬plish streaks; resemble nutmegs and contain a single (inedible) seed. STATUS AND DISTRIBUTION Native of mountain woodlands in California. Often planted in mature gardens in Britain.