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Taiwania cryptomerioides

Taiwania cryptomerioides
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Product Information

Scientific name: Taiwania cryptomerioides  Hayata  1906

Synonyms:Eotaiwania fushunensis Y.Yendo, Taiwania flousiana Gaussen, Taiwania fushunensis (Y.Yendo) Koidz., Taiwania yunnanensis Koidz.

Common names:Coffin tree, Taiwan cedar, Taiwania, Tai wan shan, Tu shan (Chinese)



Tree to 60(-75) m tall, with a single, straight trunk to 3(-4) m in diameter. Bark reddish brown and smooth at first and flaking in small scales, remaining thin by peeling in narrow vertical strips, darkening with age and weathering gray in sheltered places. Crown narrowly conical to cylindrical at first, with numerous short horizontal branches, broadening, becoming shallower and dome-shaped with age. Twigs completely covered by and deeply grooved between the attached leaf bases and further partly to largely hidden by the free tips on adult shoots. Juvenile clawlike leaves stiff, straight or curved forward, tapering consistently from the base to the sharp, pointed tip, up to 2(-2.5) cm long, with a distinctly blue-green cast from wax over the stomatal bands, lasting many years (25-30 or more). Adult scale leaves 3-6 mm long, the free tips loose or tightly pressed against the twig. Pollen cones 4-7 mm long. Seed cones oblong, (0.8-)1.5-2.5 cm long, 5-10(-12) mm across. Seeds (3-)4-5(-7) mm long, a little more than half as wide as long, including the wing, which is continuous all around the body, except for the narrow notch at the micropyle.

Taiwan, northern Vietnam, southwestern China, and adjacent Myanmar. Scattered in forests of other conifers or broadleaved evergreens at (1,750-)1,800-2,600(-2,900) m.


Conservation Status

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable

(This is a very long-lived tree which was undoubtedly more widely distributed 500 years ago (a time period which is possibly less than three generations ago). In the more recent past, it been heavily exploited for its valuable timber and there has been at least a 30-49% population reduction in that time. This is a minimum estimate, and it could well have been higher. The population is now largely stable across much of its range due to conservation efforts in Taiwan, the logging ban in China, and a community conservation programme in Vietnam. The situation in Myanmar is uncertain as the full extent of its distribution in NE Myanmar is unknown. It is very likely that at least some stands have been logged within the last 25 years and that this is continuing. Based on current knowledge, Taiwania is assessed as  Vulnerable)



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 CodeTAIZRWUI8

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