Taxus sumatrana

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Taxus sumatrana


Large, slow-growing tree to as much as 45 m high and over 1 m diam., but considerably shorter on exposed ridges. Leaves on older specimens or from exposed positions more nearly linear and straight and abruptly narrowed at the apex, 1.5-2.5 cm by 1.5-2 mm, with slightly recurved margins. Leaves on juvenile specimens or on vigorous shoots linear lanceolate and often falcate with a prominent bend near the base and also sometimes with a slight reverse curve near the apex which is narrowly acute and often slightly spiculate, 2-4 cm long by 2-2.5 mm wide at the widest part below the centre of the leaf.


Eastern Himalayas, N. Burma, SE. China, Taiwan, South Vietnam; in Malesia: Sumatra (from Karoland southwards to Benkulen), Philippines (Luzon: Lepanto, Benguet, Laguna, Tayabas; Mindanao; Davao), Celebes (Central and SW.: Bon-thain Peak). , .


A magnificent timber tree, but occurring too locally to be of importance and too slow-growing for cultivation.


The extensive synonymy partly stems from the discontinuous distribution, but several authors insist that two types exist in China. Whereas immense trees are seen in undisturbed forests of Taiwan and in Malesia, on the mainland only smaller trees are normally seen with one type reported mostly at lower elevation and another at higher elevation. Both types, however, often appear from the same collection area and I was able to collect both from a single large Formosan tree, part from low on the tree and part from high up. It appears that trees rarely get beyond their early stages of growth in lowland China, while highland trees, as is usual elsewhere, are of much reduced stature.


GAUSSEN - in Gymn. Act. & Foss. 1979: 16
HARRISON, Handb. Conif. & Ginkgo. 1967: 598
GAUSSEN - in Gymn. Act. & Foss. 1979: f. 858
KANEH., Formos. Trees, rev. ed. 1936: 31
YAMAMOTO - in J. Soc. Trop. Agric. 1938: f. 42
REHDER - in Not. R. Bot. Gard. Edinb. 1937: 261
STEUP - in Trop. Natuur. 1936: f. 1
REHDER - in J. Arn. Arb. 1927: 88
BÜNNEMEIJTER - in Trop. Natuur. 1921: f. 8
Ll & KENG - in Taiwania. 1954: pl. 2
WILSON - in J. Arn. Arb. 1926: 41
REHDER - in Man. Cult. Trees & Shrubs. 1940: 3
HAND.-MAZZ. - in Symb. Sin. 1929: 2
BEAN - in Trees & Shrubs Brit. Is. 1933: 476
Hu & CHUN - in Icon. Pl. Sin. 1929: pl. 53
LAW - in Bot. Bull. Acad. Sin. 1947: 143
STEEN. - in Bull. Jard. Bot. Btzg. 1934: 194
DALLIMORE & JACKSON, Handb. Conif. 1923: 71
ORR - in Not. R. Bot. Gard. Edinb. 1933: 124
LEMEE & LEVEILLE - in Bull. Acad. Int. Geog. Bot. 1914: 20
FANG - in Icon. Pl. Omeiens. 1946: t. 190
MASTERS - in E. & P., Nat. Pfl. Fam., ed. 2, 13. 1926: 210
METCALF - in Fl. Fukien. 1942: 23
MERR. - in En. Philip. Fl. Pl. 1923: 5
WILSON - in J. Arn. Arb. 1926: 40
REHDER - in J. Arn. Arb. 1923: 119