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Glyptostrobus pensilis

Glyptostrobus pensilis
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Product Information

Scientific name: Glyptostrobus pensilis (Staunton ex D.Don) K.Koch  1873

Synonyms:Cuprespinnata heterophylla (Brongn.) J. Nelson, Cuprespinnata sinensis (J. Forbes) J. Nelson, Cupressepinnata heterophylla (Brongn.) J.Nelson, Cupressepinnata sinensis (J.Forbes) J.Nelson, Cupressus nucifera Carrière, Glyptostrobus aquaticus (Roxb.) R.Parker, Glyptostrobus heterophyllus (Brongn.) Endl., Glyptostrobus sinensis A.Henry ex Loder, Juniperus aquatica Roxb., Sabina aquatica (Roxb.) Antoine, Schubertia nucifera Denham ex Endl., Taxodium heterophyllum Brongn., Taxodium japonicum Dehnh. ex Gordon, Taxodium sinense J.Forbes, Thuja lavandulifolia Poir., Thuja pensilis Abel, Thuja pensilis Staunton ex D.Don

Common names:Chinese swamp cypress, Chinese water fir, Water pine, Shui song (Chinese)



Tree to 25 m tall, with trunk to 1.2 m in diameter, only slightly flaring at the base. Roots bearing low, rounded aerial outgrowths (“knees”) when growing by or in water. Bark light reddish brown, weathering very pale tan or gray, shallowly ridged and furrowed. Crown rather irregular, even in youth, sparse and open, with numerous but thin and airy tufts of branchlets at the tips of the thin branches. Branchlets completely hidden by the attached bases of elongate leaves or by the overlapping blades of scale leaves. Needle- and clawlike leaves 9-20 mm long, scale leaves 2-3 mm long, those of long shoots persisting 2-3 years. Pollen cones about 4 mm long. Seed cones 1.5-2.5 cm long, 1.3-1.5 cm across. Seeds about 0.7 mm long with the wing extending about the same lenfth beyond the base.

Primarily in southern China (from southeastern Yunnan to Fujian, most abundant in coastal lowlands of Fujian and Guangdong provinces) with a  few localities in Vietnam. Swamp and other wet places, such as margins of rice paddies; 0-700(-1,000) m.


Conservation Status

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered

(Glyptostrobus pensilis was formerly very widespread in China, Vietnam and possibly Lao PDR. In China and Vietnam most of the natural plants have been killed due to expanding agriculture. It appears that there are no plants remaining in the wild in China and that the only remaining natural subpopulations are in Vietnam and Lao PDR. Although the total number of trees is more than 250, very few, if any are producing viable seed and the majority of trees in Viet Nam are in decline. The species is therefore listed as Critically Endangered under criterion C. It could possibly also meet this under criterion A, but it is not known over what time period the greatest population reduction took place (it could well have been a long slow process exceeding three generations). Given current trends this species could well become Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct in the Wild) in the near future)



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 CodeGLYG3VMB22

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