This species is sometimes treated as a variety of Torreya grandis (as Torreya grandis var. fargesii (Franch.) Silba). See Farjon, A. (2001). World Checklist and Bibliography of Conifers , ed. 2: 1-309. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. However, the Flora of China[
] and Farjon, A. (2010). A handbook of the world's Conifers 2: 533-1111. BRILL, Leiden, Boston., treat it as distinct - the treatment we are following here[
Torreya grandis fargesii (Franch.) Silba
Torreya grandis yunnanensis (W.C.Cheng & L.K.Fu) Silba
Torreya yunnanensis W.C.Cheng & L.K.Fu
Tumion fargesii (Franch.) Skeels
Torreya fargesii is an evergreen shrub or a tree that can grow up to 20 metres tall. The bole can be up to 100cm in diameter[
The tree is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and source of materials. It is occasionally grown as an ornamental in China, but not as widely as Torreya grandis; outside its native region it is only planted in a few botanic gardens and arboreta[
This species as a whole has undergone a population reduction of between 30 and 40% in the last 150 years (three generations), and most of that reduction has been in recent times.The plant is classified as 'Vulnerable' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2013)[
E. Asia - central and southern China.
An understorey plant in coniferous, mixed, and broad-leaved forests; at an elevation of 700 - 3,400 metres[
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Torreya fargesii is moderately cold hardy when dormant, tolerating occasional temperatures falling to between -17.7°c and -12.2°c)[
Succeeds in ordinary garden soil, tolerating some lime[
]. Requires a sheltered position and either high humidity or a moist riverside soil[
]. Dislikes wind exposure[
]. Tolerates woodland shade very well[
]. Requires hot, very humid summers for best growth[
Species in this genus are generally adapted to growing in primary woodland. The seedlings are very shade tolerant, establishing well in the deeper shade of a woodland and then growing up to the light. They can sometimes be found growing in secondary vegetation, but they do not usually persist, being outcompeted by other, more light-tolerant species[
The seed takes two summers to mature[
Plants are dioecious, but sometimes monoecious plants are seen bearing dioecious branches. Male and female plants must be grown if seed and fruit is required.
]. No further details are given, but it is likely to be oily and to be eaten raw or cooked.
An oil is obtained from the seed[
This species is considered to be suitable for afforestation and reforestation in China[
An oil is extracted from the seed[
The essential 'torreya oil' is extracted from the aril[
The high quality, durable timber is used in constructing houses, bridges, and furniture, and making implements and utensils[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Some of the seed should germinate in the following spring though much of it might take another 12 months. Stored seed requires a period of cold stratification and can take 18 months or more to germinate. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as growth is observed and grow them on in light shade in the greenhouse for at least the next couple of winters, making sure to pot them on into larger pots as and when required. Plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer when the plants are at least 20cm tall.
Cuttings of half-ripe shoots in late summer[
]. Cuttings do not grow well[