Torreya nucifera

Japanese Torreya

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  • Torreya nucifera

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Growing Info

Scarification: Soak in water, let stand in water for 24 hours
Stratification: warm stratify for 30 days, cold stratify for 90 days
Germination: sow 1-2 deep, keep moist, mulch the seed bed

Other: Sporadic germination may occur over a 2-3 year period 

Discover the beauty and versatility of the Torreya nucifera, also known as the kaya Japanese Torreya or Japanese nutmeg-yew. This slow-growing, evergreen coniferous tree can grow up to 25 m tall with a trunk up to 1.5 m diameter. Its needle-like, evergreen leaves are arranged spirally but twisted at the base to lie horizontally. The tree is subdioecious, producing either mostly male or mostly female cones, but usually with at least some cones of the other sex present. The tree's fine, uniform ring texture and beautiful yellow-gold color make it highly prized for the construction of Go and Shogi boards, though its scarcity has led to its protection in Japan. The oil extracted from the tree has ritual uses in Japanese esoteric Buddhism, while the seeds are edible and pressed for their vegetable oil content. If you want to add a touch of cultural and historic significance to your garden, the Torreya nucifera is the tree for you.

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