(species Torreya taxifolia), an ornamental evergreen conifer tree of the yew family (Taxaceae), limited in distribution to western Florida and southwestern Georgia, U.S. The stinking yew, which grows to 13 metres (about 43 feet) in height in cultivation, carries an open pyramidal head of spreading, slightly drooping branches. The brownish, orange-tinged bark is irregularly furrowed and scaly. The leaves are spiny-pointed, 2 to 3 cm (about 0.7 to 1.2 inches) long, and 3 mm (0.1 inch) broad; they are dark green and slightly curved above and pale green beneath. The seeds, 2-3 cm long, are surrounded by plumlike, dark purple arils, or seed coverings. Seeds, arils, leaves, and wood emit a disagreeable, fetid odour when bruised or crushed
Learn more about stinking cedar with a free trial on Britannica.com.