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Calocedrus formosana

Calocedrus formosana - Taiwan incense-cedar
  • Calocedrus formosana - Taiwan incense-cedar - Click to enlarge
  • Calocedrus formosana leaves - Click to enlarge
  • Calocedrus formosana branches - Click to enlarge


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Product Information


Scientific name: Calocedrus formosana  (Florin) Florin  1956

Synonyms: Calocedrus macrolepis var. formosana (Florin) W.C.Cheng & L.K.Fu, Heyderia formosana (Florin) H.L.Li, Libocedrus formosana Florin, Libocedrus macrolepis var. formosana (Florin) Kudô

Common names: Taiwan incense-cedar (English), Taiwan cui bai (Chinese)



Tree to 23 m tall, with trunk to 3 m in diameter, trunk often crooked. Bark purplish brown, long remaining smooth and flaking. Crown narrowly conical, broadening with age. Branchlet sprays dark green above, lighter green beneath with prominent stomatal zones. Scale leaves of branchlets 1.5-2.5 mm long, the free tips very short and rounded, usually without glands. Pollen cones 4-6 mm long, with six to eight pairs of pollen scales. Seed cones 1-1.5 cm long, at the tips of short branchlets to 3 mm long. Seeds 8-12 mm long, including the wing.

Northern and central Taiwan (also known as Formosa, hence the scientific name). Montane conifer forests; (300-)800-2,000 m.


Conservation Status

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered

Calocedrus formosana has an estimated extent of occurrence of 7,516 km², an estimated area of occupancy of 72 km² and is known from eight locations. Although there are more than five locations, the subpopulations are regarded as severely fragmented due to geographic isolation and changes in land-use in the intervening areas. There is also a continuing decline due to a variety of threats. On this basis it is assessed as Endangered under the B2 criterion.

This species occurs in mixed conifer-broad-leaved climax forest, often as an emergent, associated with Pseudotsuga sinensis, Taiwania cryptomerioides, Castanopsis spp., and Cyclobalanus (= Quercus) spp. in deep, rich forest soil over shalestone or schist; also in secondary forest and on cliffs and rocky ridgesIts altitudinal range is (300-)800-2,000 m a.s.l.

The species is experiencing a continuing decline in its area of occupancy and quality of habitat due to illegal logging, transformation of old growth forest to managed production forest, and expansion of agriculture, especially livestock grazing.

The valuable wood of this tree is in demand for construction purposes, mainly at a local or regional level. Although known botanically since 1930, it was apparently introduced to cultivation only recently.

Some stands are now protected in reserves and there is a programme of ex situ conservation (seed banking and clonal orchards) to back up the remaining wild population.


Varieties: - 



  • Farjon, A. (2010). A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.
  • Eckenwalder, J.E. (2009) Conifers of the World: The Complete Reference. Timber Press, Portland.
  • IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. Cambridge, UK /Gland, Switzerland

Copyright © Aljos Farjon, James E. Eckenwalder, IUCN, Conifers Garden. All rights reserved.

Product CodeCALDWUMO95
Weight1.5 kg
Height20 - 25 cm

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