Taiwania cryptomerioides

30 Jan

Taiwania cryptomerioides (06/01/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Taiwania cryptomerioides (06/01/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun

Flowering period: Spring

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 80m

Eventual Spread: 10m

Hardiness: 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b, 11

Family: Cupressaceae

Taiwania cryptomerioides is a slow growing large evergreen tree. Its grey/ green leaves are needle like, up to 15mm long while young (up to 100 years) and just 7mm on mature specimens. Its branches are descending. Its trunk may achieve a diameter of up to 4m. Its red/ brown bark is longitudinally fissured. Its flowers are in the form of pollen cones. Its fruit cones are up to 25mm long and covered in fragile scales.

Taiwania cryptomerioides, commonly known as the Coffin Tree Taiwania, is native to the mountains of Taiwan, southwest China, Burma and north Vietnam. In its native habitat it grows in mixed evergreen valley forests. It is classified as Vulnerable according to IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

The etymological root of the binomial name Taiwania is named after the island of Taiwan. Cryptomerioides is derived from the name of another genus, Cryptomeria and the Latin epithet -oides meaning ‘like’.

The landscape architect may find Taiwania cryptomerioides useful as a large evergreen parkland tree.

Ecologically, Taiwania cryptomerioides seed are attractive to some birds.

Taiwania cryptomerioides Leaf (06/01/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Taiwania cryptomerioides Leaf (06/01/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Taiwania cryptomerioides  prefers moist, humus rich, well-drained soils. It prefers an an acid to neutral pH of soil.

Taiwania cryptomerioides  requires little maintenance.

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