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Mature tree of var. sinensis on Huangshan, Anhui, China [V. Dinets, 2006].

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Line drawing of the type variety; for full size image go to the Flora of China (Wu and Raven 1999).

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Line drawing of var. wilsoniana; for full size image go to the Flora of China (Wu and Raven 1999).

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Line drawing (Li 1975).


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Conservation status

Pseudotsuga sinensis

Dode 1912

Common names

黄杉 huang shan [Chinese] (Wu and Raven 1999).

Taxonomic notes

Two varieties (Wu and Raven 1999):

P. sinensis var. sinensis (syn: P. gaussenii Flous 1936, P. xichangensis Kuan & Zhou 1983, P. shaanxiensis Qu and Wang 1988, P. sinensis var. gaussenii (Flous) Silba 1990).

P. sinensis var. wilsoniana (Hayata) Fu & Li 1997 (syn: P. wilsoniana Hayata 1915, P. salvadorii Flous 1936).


Trees to 50 m tall and 200 cm dbh. Bark gray or dark gray, irregularly and thickly scaly, corky (Li 1975, Wu and Raven 1999). "Branchlets initially pale yellow or yellowish gray, aging gray, usually glabrous or slightly pubescent on main branchlets and densely pubescent on lateral branchlets. Leaves pectinately arranged, linear, (1.3-)2-2.5(-3) cm × ca. 2 mm, stomatal bands abaxial, whitish or gray-green, base broadly cuneate, apex emarginate. Seed cones pale purple, glaucous, maturing purplish brown, ovoid to ellipsoid-or conical-ovoid, 3.5-8 × 2-4.5 cm. Seed scales at middle of cones semiorbicular, flabellate, or reniform, 2.5-3 × 3.2-4.5(-5) cm, rusty brown pubescent abaxially, base broadly cuneate or almost truncate, concave at sides. Bracts reflexed, cusp nar-rowly triangular, ca. 3 mm, apex obtuse. Seeds irregularly brown spotted abaxially, triangular-ovoid, slightly depressed, densely rusty brown pubescent adaxially; wing obliquely ovate or semitrullate [1.5-2 cm long including wing]. Pollination Apr, seed maturity Oct-Nov" (Wu and Raven 1999).

The varieties are distinguished by the color of the stomatal bands, and by geography; the type variety has whitish stomatal bands and is native to the mainland, while var. wilsoniana has gray-green stomatal bands and is native to Taiwan (Wu and Raven 1999).

Distribution and Ecology

China: S Anhui, N Fujian, N Guizhou, W Hubei, NW Hunan, NE Jiangxi, S Shaanxi, SE Sichuan, C and NE Yunnan, and Zhejiang all var. sinensis; Taiwan (var. wilsoniana; Vietnam (Cao Bang, Ha Giang, Lang Son). Found at elevations of 600-2800(-3300) m in China, usually in evergreen broadleaf forests (Wu and Raven 1999, Luu and Thomas 2004). Hardy to Zone 8 (cold hardiness limit between -12.1°C and -6.7°C) (Bannister and Neuner 2001).

In Taiwan, var. wilsoniana is scarce, scattered in the island at altitudes of 800-2500 m, usually mixing with other trees (Li 1975). It is reported from Hualien, Miaoli, Taichung, and Xinchu Xian at 1400 to 2500 m in (a) broadleaf forest, (b) mixed Tsuga, Chamaecyparis, Pinus and Fagaceae forest; and (c) exposed rocky slopes (HAST Database).

Big tree




The timber is used for construction, bridge building, furniture, and wood fiber (Wu and Raven 1999).


Taiwan: Reported in Taiwan at the following locations: (a) 121°20'E, 24°35'N; (b) Sheipa National Park 121°12'16"E 24°28'08"N; (c) Yushan National Park at 121°05'40"E, 23°22'48"N; 121°14'34"E, 24°15'40"N; 121°21'06"E, 24°22'30"N (HAST Database). Shei-Pa and Yushan National Parks look like good places to see it.

China: Easily seen on Huangshan, a very famous sacred mountain in Anhui, where trees up to 100 cm dbh and 30 m tall occur. It grows there with Ginkgo biloba, Torreya grandis, Tsuga chinensis, and Pinus hwangshanensis. Many trees along the trails are labeled (V. Dinets email 2006.09.25).



See also

Farjon (2010) provides a detailed account, with illustrations.

Hiep et al. 2004.

Huang 1994 (the Flora of Taiwan; as P. wilsoniana).

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

Last Modified 2012-11-23