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Cephalotaxus sinensis

Cephalotaxus sinensis
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Product Information

Scientific name: Cephalotaxus sinensis (Rehder & E.H.Wilson) H.L.Li  1954

Synonyms: Cephalotaxus drupacea f. globosa Rehder & E.H.Wilson, Cephalotaxus drupacea var. sinensis Rehder & E.H.Wilson, Cephalotaxus harringtonii var. sinensis (Rehder & E.H.Wilson) Rehder, Cephalotaxus sinensis f. globosa (Rehder & E.H.Wilson) H.L.Li

Common names: Chinese plum yew, Cufei (Chinese)



Shrub, or tree to 8(-15) m tall, with trunk to 0.4(-1.2) m in diameter. Bark reddish brown or grayish brown, weathering gray, smooth at first, flaking in scales and becoming furrowed with age. Crown dense and symmetrical when young, becoming more irregular and open with age, with horizontal to noticeably drooping branches. Branchlets remaining green or turning light reddish brown in the second year. Leaves needlelike, slightly to well separated from one another along the twig, spreading flat to raised in a prominent V, shiny bright green to olive green above, duller beneath, the whitish green to brilliantly white or yellowish green stomatal bands about two to three (to four) times as wide as the midrib region, each band with (11-)13-15(-18) lines of stomates. Needles (1-)1.5-4(-7) cm long, 2-4(-6) mm wide, sword-shaped, straight or curved forward, nearly parallel-sided to evidently widest before or near the middle, tapering abruptly or gradually to the roundly or narrowly triangular tip with a soft point (0.2-)0.5-1(-1.5) mm long, and abruptly to the roundly wedge-shaped or rounded base on a short petiole to 1(-2.5) mm long, flat around the midrib, the edges flat or narrowly turned down. Pollen cone clusters (3-)4-7(-10) mm in diameter, with six or seven (to nine) pollen cones on a short stalk 1.5-3 mm long. Seed cones on groups of (one or) two to five (to eight) on stalks 2-8 mm long. Seeds (1.5-)1.8-2.5 cm long, the skin passing from greenish yellow to red or brownish purple with maturity and sometimes covered by a thin waxy film.

Widely but discontinuously distributed in the southeastern third of China, from southern Gansu east to southern Jiangsu and south to the southern tier of mainland provinces from Yunnan to Guangdong and in Taiwan. Rare and widely scattered to locally common in the understory of various humid upper and lower montane forest types and thickets, especially in valleys and by streamsides on a wide range of substrates; (600-)900-2,500(-3,200) m.


Conservation Status

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern

(This widespread species does not meet any criteria for a threatened category and although there have been some declines in parts of the range these are not thought to be significant therefore it is assessed as Least Concern)



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 CodeCEPYWEOT83

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