Brown pine; Malaya: jati bukit (Pahang); Sumatra: ambai ayam (Indragiri); hatang (Tapanuli); kayu tadji (Palembang); minangkas (Bencoolen); naru dotan (Simalur I.); sito bu hotang (KaroBatak); Java: antoh (Japara); ki bima, ki merak, ki pantjar, ki putri; Borneo: belah buloh (Lawas, Sarawak); djadjaruman (Sampit); ki beling (Sabah); Celebes: kurniah (Nokilalaki); Lesser Sunda Islands: hadjo ketong, hadju pinis rona (Flores); Moluccas: bitaö (Halmaheira); West New Guinea: aiwimunuwamee (Biak); bung (Mayu); buskagidji, butsgagyi (Andai, Manikiong); gedorra (Fakfak, Esania); kayu tjina merah (Kp. Baros); korrikain (Tehid); uwa (Amberbaken); wajar (Mandobo); wasabraren (on Numfoor I.); East New Guinea: isimberi (Nindewari); sipiri (on Kikori R.); sirau (Bulolo, Gairana dial.) (de Laubenfels 1988); 海南罗汉松 hai nan luo han song [Chinese] (Fu et al. 1999); Thông tre, Thông lông gà [Vietnamese] (FIPI 1996).
Trees (3-)5-30(-45) m tall and 10-100 cm dbh with a clear round bole up to 20 m; crown often dome-shaped. Branches verticillate. Bark yellow-brown. Foliage buds 2-5 mm long, occasionally longer, the primary scales often spreading (de Laubenfels 1988).
For the foliage, I have two descriptions that are somewhat contradictory. De Laubenfels (1988) describes Malesian specimens thusly: "Juvenile leaves 15-24 by up to 2.4 cm, acuminate and acute, narrowing abruptly at the base to a short petiole, becoming linear-lanceolate and c. 1.6 cm wide on older fast-growing saplings in open forest situations. Leaves of mature trees similar with a short petiole up to 6 mm. Shade leaves acuminate, 8-12 by 1.2-1.8 cm. More exposed leaves linear-lanceolate, 12-18 by 1.1-1.5cm or on particularly large trees more nearly linear and 7-10 by 1-1.1 cm. Midrib abruptly raised on the upper side of the leaf at least 0.3 mm high and usually 0.6-0.8 mm wide but as little as 0.4 mm wide on less vigorous leaves or in the Borneo region on most leaves."
Conversely, FIPI (1996) (which also treats P. imbricatus as a separate species) says of the foliage on Vietnamese trees: "Leaves alternate, linear, tip gradually acute, 7-15 cm long and 0.9-1.9 cm wide. Petiole 3-5 mm long, fissured beneath."
Pollen cones are in groups (1-)3, grouped at leaf-axil, subterminal, ovoid when old, 2-5 cm long, sessile. Female cone solitary, pedicel 0.5-1 cm long, receptacle fleshy, flat below, bright red (Malesia) or violet (Vietnam) when mature (de Laubenfels 1988, FIPI 1996).
"[O]ther species are very commonly identified under this name causing confusion as to its exact character and retarding the recognition of the other species... In spite of the great geographic range, only slight variation exists within the species. The most distinct element is in the substantially isolated occurrence in Fiji where primary foliage budscales can reach 5 mm and where extra vascular resin canals are often found in the leaves (P. decipiens). In Borneo the midrib on the upper surface of the leaf is weak while from India to southeastern Asia the leaves are more commonly lanceolate and the foliage buds are usually no more than 2 mm long with barely spreading primary scales" (de Laubenfels 1988).
"Field notes. The bole is columnar, as usual; very rarely buttresses were recorded on field labels, 120 by 60 cm and 200 by 40 cm; sometimes the base was slightly spurred" (de Laubenfels 1988).
Celebes; China: Guangdong (Hainan Island); India:Assam; Indonesia; Lesser Sunda Islands (Bali, Flores); Malaysia; Moluccas (Obi, Ceram, Halmaheira); E Myanmar; Nepal; New Guinea (incl. New Britain, New Ireland, Rossel I., Manus I., Biak, Job I., and Numfoor); Philippines; Sikkim; Solomon and Fiji Islands; Thailand; Vietnam. This makes it one of the most widespread species in the genus, "[s]cattered and locally common in primary rain-forests from near sea-level to c. 2100 m. In most areas it appears as an understory tree with occasional much larger, emergent specimens in the canopy but in other areas, such as Java, Fiji, etc. it is normally a canopy tree... Habitats vary: rarely riverine, often on rocky hilltops, in mossy forest, twice recorded from limestone, and twice from swampy forest. Also as to soils there is diversity: in Sarawak it is found on kerangas in heath forest and on sandstone ridges, but also on andesitic laterites, which is the common latosol in Java, and sandy clay. In the Morobe District (New Guinea) it is recorded from ultrabasic [substrates]... As to associates it is recorded from pelawan (Tristania) forest on sandstone ridges in S. Borneo; in the Javanese mountain forest its codominants are Dacrycarpus imbricatus and Altingia noronhae; in New Britain it occurs in the hills with Pometia and Calophyllum, in the montane forest in New Ireland with Fagaceae, Eugenia and Schizomeria; in the Morobe District (New Guinea) it is associated with Anisoptera and Flindersia in the canopy" (de Laubenfels 1988).
In China, only a few trees now remain in unexploited forests in S Hainan (Fu et al. 1999).
In Vietnam, it is found in Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Yen Bai and Tuyen Quang, Son La, Lang Son, Hoa Binh, Ninh Binh, Quang Ninh, and Quang Binh. Best occurrences are in Na Hang (Tuyen Quang) and Ma river area (Son La), at altitudes between 300-1500 m, sometimes down to 200m (Quang Ninh). It occurs as scattered individuals in remaining primary forests of in remote areas, growing sparsely along water courses, usually mixed with broad-leaved species such as Chamaecyparis hodginsii, Celtis australis, Altingia siamensis, Cinnamomum spp., Gironniera subaequalis, Mallotus yunnanensis, Castanopsis and Lithocarpus spp. It chiefly appears on humid, fertile soil, especially sandy soils, but also growing on clay-stony soil. (FIPI 1996).
Based on data from 140 collection localities, its climate preferences include a mean annual temperature of 21.0°C, with an average minimum in the coldest month of 12.2°C, and a mean annual precipitation of 2080 mm (Biffin et al. 2011, Table S5). Zone 10 (cold hardiness limit between -1°C and +4.4°C) (Bannister and Neuner 2001).
The wood is light in weight (density 0.46-0.47), easy to work with, but not durable. It is used for house-building, furniture and box-making, construction and boat-building, and as an ornamental (FIPI 1996). It is also excellent for carving and making writing materials and musical instruments (Fu et al. 1999).
Listed as threatened in Viet Nam by the World Conservation Monitoring Centre. Must be strictly protected in Pu Mat Nature Reserve (Nghe An province) or Vu Quang Nature Reserve (Ha Tinh province) (FIPI 1996).
Luu and Thomas 2004 provide a description, range map, conservation status, drawings and photos, and a wealth of additional information.
Last Modified 2017-12-29