Syn. Cupressus formosensis (Matsum.) A. Henry 1910. Closely allied to Ch. pisifera, from which it differs in its more oblong cones (not globose), with the scales flat or slightly protuberant, not depressed in the centre.
A tree attaining huge size in Taiwan, up to 65 m. Bark more or less red-brown. Branchlets in a horizontal plane. Shoots flattened. Leaves scale-like, shortly mucronate, triangular, upper surface green, whitish below, lateral scales of the same length as the facial ones, which have a glandular pit each; when crushed, foliage has an odour of rotting seaweed. Mature cones elliptic, 7-10(-12) mm long, 6-8(-9) mm across, composed of 10 to 14 scales with the outer surface brown, wrinkled and flat or slightly protuberant in the centre. Seeds 3 mm wide and brown, 2 on each scale (Vidakovic 1991; M.P. Frankis email 1999.02.03).
Taiwan. Mountainous regions in the north and central parts of the island at 1000-3000 m, often forming pure stands or mixed with C. obtusa var. formosana (Li 1975). Kaoxiung & Taichung Xians, 24°17' to 24°23'N by 120°58' to 121°21'E, in coniferous and broadleaf mixed forest (HAST Database). Hardy to Zone 8 (cold hardiness limit between -12.1°C and -6.7°C) (Bannister and Neuner 2001).
Diameter 582 cm, height 49.4 m, on Mount Morrison (Carder 1995).
Of the 10 biggest trees in Taiwan (ca. 2010), 9 of them are Ch. formosensis. Ludovic Angot (email 2013.11.27) compiled the following list identifying them:
|656 cm||55 m||Taiwan “juwu bashen mu” (giant god wood)||Miaoli Tai An township, Da An river nb 75|
|653 cm||30 m||Lu Lin God wood, Shin Zhong||Shin Zhong Hen 88th km, Alishan 219 lin ban|
|611 cm||42 m||Yu huo Feng huang||taoyuan xian, Fu Xin township, Da Guan Shan 18|
|567 cm||48 m||Mian yue (sleeping moon)||Between Alishan And Xitou (Nantou county)|
|532 cm||34 m||Guan Wu number 2 (Fog observer)||Guan Wu forest recreation park (Hsinchu, Jien Shi Township)|
|557 cm||35 m||Smangus giant wood||Dan Shi 89th lin ban|
|509 cm||36 m||Reservoir god tree||Alishan 7 lin ban number 8|
|446 cm||55 m||Ling Yun (higher than cloud) god tree||Taoyuan xian, Fu Xin township, Da Guan Shan 21|
|433 cm||47.1 m||Guan Wu number 1 (Fog observer)||Guan Wu forest recreation park (Hsinchu, Jien Shi Township)|
"This species can attain 1500 years of age, and the oldest tree in Taiwan is about 3000 years old" (Vidakovic 1991). This is an extraordinary age to cite without supporting data, and must for now be regarded with skepticism.
Clinton-Baker, H. 1913. Illustrations of Conifers, Vol. 3. Privately printed: Hertford. Available at openlibrary.org.
Welch, H.J. and G. Haddow 1993. The World Checklist of Conifers.
This page co-edited with M.P. Frankis, 1999.02.
The species account at Threatened Conifers of the World.
Huang 1994 (the Flora of Taiwan).
Last Modified 2017-11-12