The Gymnosperm Database

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Line drawing; for full size image go to the Flora of China (Fu et al. 1999).


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Conservation status

Cephalotaxus sinensis

(Rehder et Wilson) H.L. Li 1953

Common names

粗榧 cu fei [Chinese] (Fu et al. 1999).

Taxonomic notes

Syn.: C. drupacea var sinensis Rehder & Wilson 1914; C. harringtonia var. sinensis (Rehder & Wilson) Rehder 1941; C. latifolia (K.M. Feng) L.K. Fu 1984 (Farjon 1998).


Shrubs or small trees to 12(-15) m tall, with a trunk to 120 cm dbh. Bark red, gray, or gray-brown. Twigs elliptic, oblong, or more usually obovate-rectangular in outline, plane, 5-12(-18) × 4-8(-10) cm. Leaves borne ± perpendicular to branchlet axis, or directed forward at 50-85°; petiole 0-1(-2.5) mm; blade green adaxially, linear or linear-lanceolate, ± parallel sided almost throughout length and tapered from near apex only, or tapered from point above middle of blade but well below apex, straight or very slightly falcate, flat, (1-)1.8-5(-7) cm × 2-3.5(-4) mm, 7-10 × as long as wide, leathery but relatively soft, midvein 0.2-0.6 mm wide abaxially, stomatal bands white (very rarely green), 0.8-1.2 mm wide, of (12-)13-15(-18) rows of stomata, 2-4 × as wide as midvein, marginal bands 0.1-0.3 mm wide, base cuneate or rounded-cuneate, symmetric or very slightly asymmetric, margin narrowly revolute, apex acute and shortly mucronate to long acuminate. Pollen cone clusters globose, 4-7 mm in diameter, each with 6-7 pinkish brown cones; peduncle ca. 3 mm, naked except at apex; microsporophylls 4-11, each with 2-4 pollen sacs. Seed cones solitary or borne 2-5(-8) together; peduncle 3-8 mm; seed scales grayish green, ovate, apex shortly cuspidate. Aril red or reddish purple when ripe, 1.6-2.5 × 0.8-1.6 cm, with 6 prominent, longitudinal ridges. Seeds ovoid or obovoid to ellipsoid, 1.8-2.5 × 0.9-1.2 cm, apex mucronate or cuspidate. Pollination March-June, seed maturity (June-)July-November (Fu et al. 1999).

It can be distinguished from C. wilsoniana in that sinensis leaves are 5-10 times as long as wide, and are parallel-sided and tapered near apex only, while wilsoniana leaves are about 10 times as long as wide, and are often tapered from a point above the middle of the blade but well below the apex (Fu et al. 1999).

Distribution and Ecology

China: S Anhui, Fujian, S Gansu, SW Guangdong, Guangxi, NE Guizhou, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, S Jiangsu, Jiangxi, S Shaanxi, Sichuan, C and N Taiwan, SE Yunnan, Zhejiang; cultivated in Shandong. It grows at elevations of 600-3000(-3200) meters in montane conifer or mixed forests, thickets, stream valleys, valley bottoms, and open situations, on granite, sandstone, and limestone substrates (Fu et al. 1999). It is widespread, thus relatively little threatened. Bannister and Neuner (2001) rate it hardy to Zone 7 (cold hardiness limit between -17.7°C and -12.2°C), but Tripp (1995) pushes it to Zone 6.

Big tree






First introduced to the West by Wilson, ca. 1916 (Tripp 1995).


See also

Li H.L. 1953. Lloydia 16:162.

Last Modified 2017-12-29