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location of Torreya taxifolia | by Just Back
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location of Torreya taxifolia

Chapman, A. W. 1885. Torreya taxifolia, Arnott. A Reminiscence. Botanical Gazette

10(4): 250-254


Chapman provides this map along with his story about the discovery and naming of "Florida yew"...


"Mr. [Hardy B.] Croom was then on one of his annual journeys from New Berne, North

Carolina, the residence of the family, to his plantation in the

adjoining county of Leon; but previously to settling permanently in that

country, he had rented a plantation on the west bank of the Apalachicola

river opposite the calcareous cliffs at Aspalaga on the east bank, which

at that time were covered by a dense grove of Torreya, and it was here,

probably in 1833, that he first saw it.

Recognizing it as likely to be new, at least to our Flora, he sent a

flowerless branch to Mr. Nuttall, who briefly noticed it in the JHournal

of the Philadelphia Academy, Vol. VII, p. 96, with the suggestion that

it might be the Taxus montana, of Mexico.

At the time of our first meeting in 1835 it appears that he had made

the acquaintance of Dr. Torrey in New York, and had supplied him with

specimens in flower and fruit; and it was during the previous summer,

and at the latter's request for additional information and material,

that my connection with the tree commenced.

His first impressions were, I believe, that it might be a species of

Podocarpus, but these, after a minute analysis of all its parts, he soon

abandoned, and came to the conclusion that it constituted the type of a

new genus among the Taxoid conifers, a conclusion also entertained by

his friend and correspondent, Dr. Arnott, of Edinburgh, to whom he had

communicated specimens togehther with a report of his anal;yses, and the

latter, after disposing of the Torreya of Sprengel, which was proved to

be a species of Clerodendron, and ignoring sundry less Torreyas,

transferred the name to the Florida tree, and published a full

description and figure of it in Annals of Natural History, Vol. I, p.

126, under the name Torreya taxifolia."


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Taken on June 1, 2009