This genus was formerly assigned to the Taxodiaceae. It contains one or two species, two in this treatment:
"Trees evergreen, monoecious; main branches horizontally spreading; branchlets pendulous, slender, long; winter buds small. Leaves spirally arranged, dimorphic: those of old branchlets densely arranged, subulate, scalelike, upwardly curved, triangular or quadrangular in cross section, with stomatal bands present on both surfaces, base short, decurrent, apex acute or obtuse, apiculate; those of young trees and new branchlets 'S'-shaped-ovate or subulate, ± quadrangular in cross section, laterally compressed, apex straight to incurved, sharply pointed. Pollen cones borne in terminal clusters; microsporophylls many, spirally arranged; microsporangia 2-4, ovate. Seed cones terminal, solitary, erect, small; bracts rudimentary; ovules 2 per bract axil; cone scales of mature cones cuneately narrowed into claw and ± flat proximally, broadening distally into an exposed, rounded-spatulate, transversely convex portion, leathery, margin subentire, hyaline, densely and microscopically puberulent with extremely short, 2- or 3-celled hairs (margin thus appearing finely lacerate at low magnification), apical portion small, ± incurved, obtusely truncate, concavely notched, with small, protruding mucro. Seeds flat, with narrow, lateral wings, base and apex both notched. Cotyledons 2" (Fu et al. 1999).
N Myanmar and China: Taiwan, Hubei, Guizhou, Sichuan, Yunnan (Fu et al. 1999). The World Conservation Monitoring Centre - Trees (accessed 1999.04.12), which does not discriminate between the species of Taiwania, says that this "large slow-growing tree... is widely scattered as an emergent in mid- to high-elevation forest, usually with Chamaecyparis species. Population have declined because of forest clearance and logging, exacerbated by poor regeneration. Plantations have now been established."
Said to attain an age of 2,000 years, but without supporting documentation (Fu et al. 1999).
"The wood is easily worked, and is used in building, making furniture and coffins ('Chinese coffin tree'), bridge and boat construction, and paper manufacture" (Fu et al. 1999).
Hayata. 1906. J. Linn. Soc., Bot. 37: 330.
Zeng Xiaolian (designer). Stamp issued 1992.03.10. Image available at http://www.bupt.edu.cn/stamp/plant/92_3.htm, accessed 1999.04.12, now defunct.
Farjon 2005 (as monotypic genus).
Last Modified 2012-11-23