Cephalotaxus lanceolata K.M.Feng

Endemic to NW Yunnan in China where forests have been exploited for timber and the habitat is being reduced due to forest clearance for expanding agricultural areas.


Thought to be endemic to northwestern Yunnan, China (Gongshan Drungzu Nuzu Zizhixian, Dulongjiang). It may also occur in northern Myanmar. This species is currently only known for certain from a small area in northwestern Yunnan. Its extent of occurrence could be less than 100km² but is certainly less than 5000km². The area of occupancy is probably more than 10km² but less than 500km². Currently, there is only one location known.

In China the population is estimated to number 6754 plants, most of which were young seedlings which implies that the number of mature individuals could be well under 2500. A past reduction of more than 50% is suspected. Evidence for an ongoing decline is lacking making the population trend uncertain.

Habitat and Ecology

This species occurs scattered in evergreen broad-leaved forest at altitudes between 1450 and 1970 metres above sea-level. Very little is known about its ecology.

Human Uses

A small to medium sized tree that is locally used for firewood and construction. It may also have medicinal qualities.

Conservation Status

Global status

Endangered A2cd

Global rationale

Cephalotaxus lanceolata has a limited extent of occurrence and area of occupancy that are within the thresholds for Endangered under criterion B. It also appears to have undergone a significant reduction in the Chinese part of its range as there are mostly just seedlings left in the single known location. It is not certain that it occurs in adjoining parts of Myanmar, but logging and deforestation are known to have occurred in this area in the recent past. It is suspected that there has been at least an overall 50% population reduction in the past three generations (150 years). This is likely to be continuing, due to conversion of the habitat for agriculture and collection for firewood and construction but it is not known what the future reduction rates are. It is possible that this species could qualify for a higher threatened status than Endangered if more information were available on the range, population trends and threats.

Global threats

This species has been exploited for timber and firewood and the larger trees have mostly been logged. Large-scale logging is now banned. The habitat has also been reduced due to forest clearance for expanding agricultural areas. Forests in adjoining parts of Myanmar have been heavily exploited in the recent past. If this species occurs there, then it is likely to have been effected.




Conservation Actions

This species is not yet known to be in any protected areas. Further research is required on the range, population size and trends and threats to this species.

References and further reading

  1. Farjon, A. (2010). A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.

Entry information:

Entry authors:

Y. Yang and W-b. Liao. ·

Entry last edited:

13 Mar 2018

Recommended Citation:

Y. Yang and W-b. Liao, 2018, Cephalotaxus lanceolata, from the website: ‘Threatened Conifers of The World’ ( Downloaded on 2 July 2020.

Categorised in:

Agriculture and Forestry, Endangered, Direct exploitation, China and Taxaceae.