The Gymnosperm Database


Illustration from Kurz (1873).


Distribution (Missouri Botanical Garden TROPICOS database 2006).


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Conservation status

Calocedrus macrolepis

Kurz 1873

Common names

Bách xanh, Tùng hương, Pơ mu giả, Trắc bách diệp núi [Vietnamese], cui bai [Chinese] (Hiep et al. 2004).

Taxonomic notes

Syn: Libocedrus macrolepis (Kurz.) Benth. (Silba 1986).


Evergreen tree 15-25 (rarely 30) m tall with dbh to 60-80 cm. Bole straight, often twisted when over 10 m high. Bark dark brown with longitudinal fissures. Early branched, with big branches nearly horizontal; crown oviform. Leaves scaly, closely inserted on twigs into nodes, each node with two large leaves and two smaller opposite leaves. Female cone oval, very small, green when young, becoming violet-brown, lignified and opening into 3 fragments when mature with the middle fragment bearing 2 big winged seeds, which mature in October-December (FIPI 1996).

Distribution and Ecology

NE Myanmar, China: Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Taiwan, & Yunnan at 300-2000m elevation; Vietnam. In Vietnam, found in Khanh Hoa, around Da Lat city in Lam Dong, and at Ba Vi mountain in Ha Tay. It prefers a humid climate and yellow ferallitic soils with shallow or moderately thick, but humus-rich surface layers. It grows at elevations above 900 m in closed and open evergreen subtropical forests, in mountainous areas. Regeneration is good in places with ample light, such as along streams or at forest edges (FIPI 1996). Hardy to Zone 9 (cold hardiness limit between -6.6°C and -1.1°C) (Bannister and Neuner 2001).

Listed as threatened/endangered in Vietnam by the World Conservation Monitoring Centre. Due to small population size and extensive habitat loss, this species needs strict protection in Ba Vi National Park and in Bidoup Nature Reserve.

Big tree

Some trees in the Xishuangbanna area of Yunnan are 35-40 m tall (Vladimir Dinets e-mail 1998.01.10).




Wood not strong, but straight-grained and with a moderately fine texture, easily worked. Resistant to termites and insects. Used as construction timber, for cabinet-work and for woodturning. The wood is aromatic, and can be used in joss-stick making. As the tree has a beautiful crown and form, it is also planted for decorative purpose (FIPI 1996).


Probably most easily seen in Ba Vi National Park and in Bidoup Nature Reserve, Vietnam. It could likely be found in some of the nature preserves of Yunnan, as well.



Kurz, S. 1873. On a few new plants from Yunan. Journal of Botany 11:193-196, t. 133. Available: Biodiversity Heritage Library, accessed 2012.11.25.

Missouri Botanical Garden TROPICOS database. Queried 2006.07.12., now defunct.

See also

The species account at Threatened Conifers of the World.

Farjon (2005) provides a detailed account, with illustrations.

Huang 1994 (the Flora of Taiwan).

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

Last Modified 2017-12-29