Torreya fargesii var. yunnanensis (C.Y.Cheng & L.K. Fu) N.Kang


Endemic to southern China in NW Yunnan where it is overexploited for his highly prized wood

Associated Names:


China: NW Yunnan (Gongshan, Lijian, Weixi, Zhongdian)

The population is estimated to number more than 8 million individuals, but very few large mature individuals.

Habitat and Ecology

This variety occurs in coniferous, mixed and broad-leaved forests as an under-storey shrub or a small to medium sized tree, in mountains from 2000 to 3200 metres above sea-level. The species probably coppices from the base when cut.

Human Uses

This variety is used for its timber and for firewood. This variety yields high quality wood used in building houses, bridges (durability of the wood) and furniture; some of it is also used to make utensils and for wood turning. The seeds are edible and produce oil that is extracted; the essential 'torreya oil' is extracted from the aril.

Conservation Status

Global status

Endagered B1ab(iii,v)+2ab(iii,v)

Global rationale

This variety has an extent of occurrence of only 3580km² and an area of occupancy of 384km², and is known from about ten locations and because the wood is highly sought after there is assumed to be continuing decline in mature individuals despite the logging ban and also in the quality of the habitat (human disturbance has been seen in nature reserves – Yong Yang pers. comm. 2010).

Global threats

Over-exploitation, habitat degradation, poor regeneration. Despite the logging ban it is likely that off-take is continuing because the wood is extremely popular.

Conservation Actions

Some subpopulations occur (partly) within protected areas.