Torreya taxifolia in Florida's Historically Native Range

photo-essay by Glenn Rilke of visits to Torreya State Park, FL


Glenn Rilke with wild T. taxifolia in Torreya State Park, autumn 2007.

Notice bark problem below his left hand. (Leigh Brooks, 2009, suggests it is probably deer rub, not disease.)


Glenn Rilke writes (February 2011):

A week and a half ago I went up to Torreya State Park to see how the Torreya trees and am happy to say they are looking pretty good. I saw 3 or 4 out in the wild plus the ones near the main building which are planted individuals.

The largest tree has been damaged by deer rubs but appears to be holding its own. It is unfortunately shaded by an American Holly which probably limits its growth potential. The realy good news is that one of the Torreyas which is getting brighter light is looking really good. It is growing and actually had "flowers" on it. I'm not sure if it is a male or female tree or if there may be another healthy tree close enough by to enable fertilization. [Editor's note: Rilke's photo below shows the pollen-bearing 'cones' of a male Torreya tree.]

Only one of the Torreya in the wild seemed in poor health. It is located immediatly next to a hiking trail and appears to have been damaged by hikers. Hopefully this damage was unintentional.

Overall I was very impressed with the current health of the Torreya the only one exhibiting signs of wilt was the one damaged by hikers and it's ill health may not even have been from the wilt.


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