The Gymnosperm Database


Twig with male cone (de Laubenfels 1988).


"Range of four species of the genus Falcatifolium" (de Laubenfels 1988).


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Conservation status 2010: protocol 2.3, needs updating

Falcatifolium falciforme

(Parl.) de Laub. 1969

Common names

"Kayu china, Sabah, Lahad Datu, iguh gawah, Iban, Merurong Plateau" (de Laubenfels 1988).

Taxonomic notes

Syn: Podocarpus falciformis Parlatore 1868; Nageia falciformis (Parl.) O.K. 1891; Dacrydium falciforme (Parlatore) Pilger 1903 (de Laubenfels 1988).


"Large shrub from 1.5 m to occasionally a large tree as much as 36 m tall, more commonly 5-12 m, 4-40 cm diam. Seedling leaves widening gradually from a petiole several mm long to margins parallel in the middle of the leaf, apex more abrupt, acute, apiculate, midrib a low blunt ridge above and a narrow sharp ridge below, slightly revolute, 4-9 by 2-3.5 mm. Juvenile leaves on the first branches only slightly longer and wider than the seedling but soon becoming as much as 12 cm long and more gradually becoming as much as 12 mm wide, the lanceolate apex strongly curved so as to become parallel to the shoot, midribs on either side a weak ridge. Adult shade leaves spreading at a large angle with more or less parallel margins in the centre of the leaves and broadly lanceolate apex which curves strongly forward but still at an angle from the shoot, 4-7 cm by 5-9 mm. Adult sun leaves much more abrupt at both ends so as to form a broad lens shape to almost a parallelogram with rounded corners, 2-4 cm long by 5-7 mm wide, the apex sometimes not bent forward. Pollen cones 2-4 cm long by 2.5-3.5 mm diam. Receptacle of seed-bearing structure 4-5 mm long; mature seed 6-7 mm long, 5 mm wide, and 3.5-4 mm thick, becoming black" (de Laubenfels 1988).

Distribution and Ecology

Malaya; Riouw-Lingga Archipelago (Lingga: P. Tanda); Borneo (mainly Sarawak and Sabah); at 400-2100 m elevation. Within its range, mean annual temperature is 22.0°C, with an average minimum in the coldest month of 17.3°C, and a mean annual precipitation of 2813 mm (Biffin et al. 2011, Table S5).

The species is "locally common along ridges as a bushy tree or in the subcanopy of primary rain-forest, often on podsol sands and kerangas, but occasionally on deeper fertile soils; a somewhat emergent forest giant" (de Laubenfels 1988).

Zone 10 (cold hardiness limit between -1°C and +4.4°C) (Bannister and Neuner 2001).

Big tree






"In the forests of Mt Kinabalu the juvenile plants have smaller leaves than elsewhere, but otherwise there do not appear to be any differences. Several collections of more or less juvenile material have been made in Celebes and Central Moluccas (Obi), but these resemble more F. gruezoi of the Philippines. A single specimen from high kerangas on the Usan Apan Plateau in Sarawak has leaves in the form of adult shade leaves, but these are only 6 by 2 mm. It is called a 'young tree' but given as 24 m tall. This may well be a new species" (de Laubenfels 1988).


de Laubenfels 1969.

See also

Dallimore et al. 1967.

Last Modified 2017-12-29