Other common names
Chinese cypress, Chinese: gan xiang bai.
Origin of the species name
Cupressus is Latin for cypress; duclouxiana commemorates the French Missionary and plant collector F. Ducloux.
Trees of this species are long lived.
This is an evergreen conifer. It has fibrous reddish-brown bark with a conical crown when young and rounded or broadly domed when old. Its branches are slender and horizontal and densely arranged. The branchlets are spreading or drooping but not pendulous. The cones are near the ends of the branches and are either singular or in groups. Height 16m Spread 14m.
Natural distribution and habitat
The species is found only in China. The natural stands are very scattered and are confined to deep river gorges and some stands appear to be mostly pure. It grows in dry to moist seasonally moist coniferous forest at altitudes ranging from 1,900-3,300 metres, in rocky, gravelly or sandy soils.
Yunnan cypress is an endangered species threatened by habitat loss. China has prohibited the cutting of old growth C. duclouxiana since 1989, and some old trees have been protected as Buddhist holy trees.
Planted in a complex pattern of interconnected forest glades.
Although in limited supply now, it is likely that the timber was valued when the species was more common. It is widely cultivated around Kunming and Yunnan, from where it has subsequently invaded areas nearby.
Farjon, A (2010) A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Brill.