The Gymnosperm Database


Tsuga dumosa growing on Erlang Shan near Luding, Sichuan [Daniel Winkler].

line drawing

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


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Conservation status

Tsuga dumosa

(D. Don) Eichler 1887

Common names

Himalayan hemlock, Yunnan tieshan (Farjon 1990), Thiêt sam (FIPI 1996).

Taxonomic notes

Syn: Pinus dumosa D. Don; Tsuga brunoniana (Wallich) Carrière; T. yunnanensis (Franch.) Pritzel; T. dumosa var. chinensis (Franch.) Pritzel, quoad plant. Yunnan.; T. leptophylla Hand.-Mzt.; T. intermedia Hand.-Mzt.; T. dura Downie; T. wardii Downie; T. calcarea Downie; T. mairei Lemée et Léveillé (Farjon 1990). See also the discussion of molecular findings on the Tsuga page.


Tree 20-25(40) m high and 40-50(100) cm dbh. Bark greyish brown, fissured. Branches oblique or horizontal; crown pyramidal. First year twigs are reddish brown or greyish yellow, covered with short hairs, 2-3 years old branches greyish brown or dark grey with leaf scars. Leaves spirally arranged on branches, linear, 10-25 mm long and 2-2.5 mm wide, obtuse or rounded, rarely emarginate, upper surface green and shiny, lower surface with 2 wide bands of stomata; upper half part with small dents (rarely entire). Midrib concave on upper surface. Male cones globose, solitary and axillary, green-yellow anthers without air sac. Female cones round-ovate, solitary and terminal, slightly down curved, with many spiral scales and 2 ovules inside each scale. Seeds with thin wing in upper parts, 9 mm long, ovate, brown. Flowering in April-May, fruiting in October-November. Wood brownish yellow, structure fine and veins straight (FIPI 1996). See also Wu and Raven (1999).

Distribution and Ecology

Himalaya: India from Uttar Pradesh to the Assam Himal (Arunachal Pradesh); N Burma; Vietnam; SE Tibet; China: NW Yunnan and into SW Sichuan (Farjon 1990). In Vietnam it is only found on Hoang Lien Son mountain, at altitudes above 1500 m. It occurs in areas with a cold climate with high rainfall, clouds and high humidity. In Vietnam, it is usually mixed with Rhododendron spp. and Abies pindrow, but sometimes forms a pure stand (FIPI 1996). Hardy to Zone 8 (cold hardiness limit between -12.1°C and -6.7°C) (Bannister and Neuner 2001).

Big tree

A photograph of a specimen 320 cm dbh growing in Yunnan near Tibet appears in Pakenham (1997).



I can find (1999.02) only one exploratory study (Bhattacharyya et al. 1992).


Used for construction and furniture. Bark rich in tannin, that can be used for dyeing (FIPI 1996).




Bhattacharyya, Amalava, Valmore C. LaMarche Jr., and Malcolm K. Hughes. 1992. Tree-ring chronologies from Nepal. Tree-Ring Bulletin 52: 59-66.

Farjon, Aljos. 1990. Pinaceae: drawings and descriptions of the genera Abies, Cedrus, Pseudolarix, Keteleeria, Nothotsuga, Tsuga, Cathaya, Pseudotsuga, Larix and Picea. Königstein: Koeltz Scientific Books.

Pakenham, T. 1997. Meetings with remarkable trees. Random House. Page 9.

See also

Cheng and Fu (1978).

Farjon (2010).

Hiep et al. 2004.

Last Modified 2017-12-29