Species Name Torreya taxifolia
Synonyms Tumion taxifolium | Torreya taxifolia |
Common Name Florida Torreya | Savin | Stinking Cedar | Florida Nutmeg | Gopher Wood | Stinking Yew |
CPC Number 4295
Natures Serve Global Rank G1
Global Rank Review Date 3/11/2009
Federal Listing Status LE
Description Torreya taxifolia, known as the Florida Torreya, is one of the rarest conifers in the world. Once found as a canopy tree, Torreya is an evergreen dioecious tree endemic to a narrow range of bluffs and ravines adjacent to the Apalachicola River in northwest Florida and extreme southwest Georgia. In the mid-Twentieth Century this species suffered a catastrophic decline as all reproductive age trees died. In the decades that followed, this species did not recover. What remains is a population approximately 0.3% of its original size, which is subjected to changes in hydrology, forest structure, heavy browsing by deer, loss of reproduction capability, as well as dieback from fungal disease. Atlanta Botanical Garden’s dedication and efforts to protect Torreya furthers understanding of its ecology and life cycle as well as the decline of this once majestic species. We present the ongoing research to meet recovery objectives for this species, as well as how they relate to other rare species conservation and evolution under predicted climate change. In 1984 this species was listed Endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. It is currently listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List.