In the past, Torreya californica was used for cabinet making, fencing and bridges, as it is rot resistant. Due to its current rarity it is no longer used. California Indians used it for their bows, seeds were roasted for food and some tribes (e.g. the Pomo) used the roots for basket weaving. T. californica is the most commonly cultivated species of its genus and can grow into an impressive, wide crowned tree with striking foliage and large, pendulous, plum-like green or glaucous seeds. It is almost exclusively used as an ornamental in large gardens or planted in arboreta. The name 'nutmeg' only refers to a superficial similarity with true nutmeg fruits (from Myristica fragrans, an angiosperm tree species).