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Cone [Michael Frankis].


Tree in the Seattle Arboretum [C.J. Earle].


Foliage on a tree in the Seattle Arboretum [C.J. Earle].

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"Pl. 189. Taiwania cryptomerioides Hayata (Taxodiaceae)" (Li 1975).


Range map: T. cryptomerioides in Taiwan, T. flousiana in China and Myanmar (Anonymous [no date]).

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Stamp (LINK [2001.12.23]).


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Conservation status

Taiwania cryptomerioides

Hayata 1906

Common names

Taiwania (Liu 1970).

Taxonomic notes

Taiwania flousiana is sometimes treated as a variety.


"A large tree. Leaves dimorphic, scale-like leaves flat, rhomboidal acute, cover on the old branches, subulate leaves spirally arranged on the branchlets, sharply pointed, about 2 cm. long, quadrangular in cross section, 4-5 stomatic lines on each side, one vascular bundle and one resin duct. Mature cones terminating the branches or branchlets, nearly sessile, oblong-ovoid, the scales 12-20, thin, obcordate, 8 mm. long, 5 mm. broad. Seeds oblong with broad wings, emarginate at both ends. Trunk bark grayish red brown to grayish white, longitudinally fissured, ridges flattened, more or less interlacing, exfoliating in longitudinal narrow thin pieces; lenticels inconspicuous; outer barks 1.4-1.5 cm. thick, fibrous; with a dark red brown tiered cross section; newly formed periderm brightly red; inner barks 3-6 mm. thick, finely fibrous, gradually becoming pale purplish brown after cutting, excreting no white resin; cambium and newly formed phloem inconspicuous. Freshly cut sapwood white to pale orange yellow, wood rays inconspicuous" (Liu 1970). See also the online description in Fu et al. (1999).

Distribution and Ecology

Myanmar; Vietnam: Lao Cai; and Taiwan: the central ranges at 1800-2600 m (Liu 1970, Luu and Thomas 2004). It occurs at 500-2,800 m elevation in "coniferous, broad-leaved, or mixed evergreen valley forests on acid, red, or brown soils in warm or warm temperate regions with high summer and autumn rainfall but drier winters, usually scattered and associated with Chamaecyparis formosensis, C. obtusa var. formosana, Cunninghamia lanceolata, Pinus wallichiana, or Tsuga dumosa, but sometimes forming pure stands" (Fu et al. 1999).

Zone 9 (cold hardiness limit between -6.6°C and -1.1°C) (Bannister and Neuner 2001).

Big tree

"In height the Taiwania overtops all other associated trees ... The tallest individual ever found measures about 65 meters high. Giant trees with diameters up to 3 meters are rather common in the mixed coniferous and hardwood forests" (Liu and Su 1983).





Sample collection: Xinchu Xian: Chienshih Xiang: Chilanshan. Mixed Chamaecyparis, Taiwania and Acer forest. Tree ca. 40 m, DBH 1.2 m (HAST Database).



Liu, T. and H. Su. 1983. Biosystematic studies on Taiwania and numerical evaluations of the systematics of the Taxodiaceae. Taiwan Museum Spec. Pub. Series No. 2.

See also

The species account at Threatened Conifers of the World.

Do Tien Doan. 2001. Report on the distribution of the Taiwania cryptomerioides in Van Ban District, Lao Cai Province. Available:, accessed 2006.03.08, now defunct. This somewhat gloomy survey catalogs an area where almost all native Taiwania have been logged out, but does record 2 trees 1 m dbh, "protected by local people," and documents natural regeneration in the area.

Farjon, Aljos. 2002. Rare and possibly threatened conifers in Vietnam. Available:, accessed 2006.03.08, now defunct. An appended special report on "Taiwania cryptomerioides Hayata in Vietnam" addresses the species' taxonomy, conservation status and distribution, with a detailed discussion of whether the species is native or naturalized in Vietnam, including relevant field observations.

Huang 1994 (the Flora of Taiwan).

Luu and Thomas 2004 provide a description, range map, conservation status, drawings and photos, and a wealth of additional information.

Last Modified 2017-11-12