The Gymnosperm Database


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Conservation status 2010: protocol 2.3, needs updating

Amentotaxus argotaenia

(Hance) Pilger 1916

Common Names

Chinese flowering yew (Silba 1986).

Taxonomic notes

Two varieties, the type and brevifolia K.M. Lan et F.H. Zhang 1984 (no syn.), native to Guizhou (Farjon 1998).

Syn. for the type variety: Podocarpus argotaenia Hance 1883, Nageia argotaenia (Hance) Kuntze 1891, Cephalotaxus argotaenia (Hance) Pilger 1903, Podocarpus insignis Hemsl. 1885, Nageia insignis (Hemsl.) Kuntze 1891, Amentotaxus cathayensis H.L. Li 1952, Amentotaxus argotaenia var. cathayensis (H.L. Li) P.C. Keng 1957 (Farjon 1998).


"A shrub 2-7 m. tall, with spreading branches. Branchlets light olive-green. Leaves 3-11 cm. long by 6-11 mm. wide, leathery, straight, spreading slightly forwards, with 2 white stomatal bands below nearly as broad as the marginal bands, apex bluntly acute or obtuse. Male strobili in groups of 1-3 at tips of branchlets, 5-6 cm. long, with 2-5 pollen sacs. Female cone ovoid or somewhat globose, light olive-green at first, 2-2.5 cm. long by 1.3 cm. wide. Seed to 1.3 cm. long" (Silba 1986).

Distribution and Ecology

China: Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Sichuan, and E. Xizang (SE Tibet) (Farjon 1998).

Hardy to Zone 9 (cold hardiness limit between -6.6°C and -1.1°C) (Bannister and Neuner 2001).

The IUCN reports that as of 1997, this taxon is "vulnerable," facing a high risk of extinction in the wild due to habitat loss. This assessment needs to be updated.

Big tree






See also

The species account at Threatened Conifers of the World.

Lan, K.M. 1984. A new variety of Amentotaxus argotaenia. Acta Phytotaxonomica Sinica 22(6): 492.

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

Last Modified 2017-12-29