Cephalotaxus mannii Hook. f.

Although widely distributed in southeastern Asia it is often targeted for its timber. Futher threats include the conversion of its habitat to agriculture land which has resulted in severe forest fragmentation.


Cephalotaxus mannii has a wide but sporadic distribution in China, IndoChina and India.

In China it is very rare and recorded from a few disparate localities in four provinces: Guangdong (Xingyi), Guangxi, Yunnan and SE Xizang. It also ocurs in northern Myanmar and in Arunachal Pradesh, Megalaya (Khasi, Jaintia, Mishmi Hills and Naga Hills), and Assam (Manipur, Nagaland) in northeast India as well as in Thailand. The main subpopulations are in the Annamite Mountians in Việt Nam and Lao PDR. The Indian subpopulations in Assam are sometimes referred to as C. griffithii.

The subpopulation in China is estimated to number less than 15,500 plants, but it is not clear what proportion of these are mature individuals. In Guangdong province, only eleven trees are known, only one of which is a large tree.

Habitat and Ecology

This species may occur in mixed evergreen or deciduous forests with an altitudinal range from 500 to 2000 metres above sea-level. In the northern part of its range it is usually a small tree (< 20m) but in Việt Nam it may be up to 30m tall. In Thailand trees of up to 50m have been recorded. In Việt Nam and parts of China it can occur on soils derived from either silicate rocks and limestone. On the former it is often associated with Nageia wallichiana, Taxus sp., Dacrycarpus imbricatus and Podocarpus neriifolius whereas in limestone areas it is associated with Pseudotsuga sinensis, Nageia fleuryi, Pinus kwangtungensis, Podocarpus pilgeri, Taxus chinensis, Fokienia hodginsii and Amentotaxus spp.

Human Uses

The timber is insect resistant and used for quality furniture, fine crafts and tool handles. The seeds and bark have medicinal uses in the treatment of leukaemia and lymphoma.

Conservation Status

Global status and rationale

Vulnerable A2cd

Cephalotaxus mannii naturally occurs in small disjunct subpopulations. It has undergone a range-wide reduction as much of its natural habitat lie within areas that are also suitable for agriculture. Consequently, remaining subpopulations are severely fragmented. Larger trees are frequenlty targetted for their timber while others may be stripped of their bark for use in traditional medicines. There are not enough forest reserves of sufficient size and integrity to safeguard this species at present (Fu and Jin 1992, Nguyên et al., 2004). It is estimated that there has been between a 30–50% population reduction in the past three generations (150 years). The decline could even be higher than this but information is lacking from much of its range of this species.

Proposed National Status and rationale - China

Proposed National Status and rationale - India

Proposed National Status and rationale - Lao PDR

Data deficient DD

Proposed National Status and rationale - Myanmar

Data deficient DD

Proposed National Status and rationale - Thailand

Proposed National Status and rationale - Việt Nam

Conservation Actions

In Việt Nam it has been recorded from more than ten protected areas including Bach Ma National Park, Ba Vi National Park, Tam Đảo National Park, Chư Mom Ray Nature Reserve and most of the protected areas in Lâm Đồng. It has also been recorded from protected areas in other parts of its range e.g. Nakai Nam Theun National Conservation Area in Lao PDR. It should be strictly protected throughout its range, and in Việt Nam where it is most threatened , propagation programmes should be established to supply material for plantation trials and to establish a living genebank. Seed storage should also be experimented with (Luu & Thomas, 2004). Rangewide studies to investigate levels of genetic variation would also be useful for its conservation.

References and further reading

  1. Fu, L.K. & Jin, J.M. (1992). China Plant Red Data Book – Rare and Endangered Plants 1. Science Press, Beijing.
  2. Luu, N.D.T. & Thomas, P.I. (2004). Cay La Kim Vietnam / Conifers of Vietnam. Darwin Initiative. Available: (18 July 2007).
  3. Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment. (2007). Vietnam Red Data Book — Plants, 2nd edition. Science and Technics Publishing House, Hanoi.
  4. Nguyên, T.H., Phan, K.L., Nguyên, D.T.L.,Thomas, P.I., Farjon, A., Averyanov, L. & Regalado Jr., J. (2004). Vietnam Conifers: Conservation Status Review 2004. Fauna & Flora International, Vietnam, Hanoi.
  5. Thomas, P., Sengdala, K., Lamxay, V. & Khou, E. (2007). New records of Conifers in Cambodia and Laos. Edinburgh Journal of Botany 64(1): 37-44.
  6. Wang, S. & Xie, Y. (2004). China Species Red List. Vol. 1 Red List. Higher Education Press, Beijing, China.
  7. Wu, Z. & Raven, P.H. (eds). (1999). Flora of China: Vol.4. Cycadaceae through Fagaceae. Science Press (Beijing) & Missouri Botanical Garden (St. Louis).

Entry information:

Entry authors:

P. Thomas and Nguyen Duc To Luu. ·

Entry last edited:

9 Nov 2019

Recommended Citation:

P. Thomas and Nguyen Duc To Luu, 2019, Cephalotaxus mannii, from the website: ‘Threatened Conifers of The World’ ( Downloaded on 2 July 2020.

Categorised in:

Agriculture and Forestry, Vulnerable, Himalayas, Indochina, Direct exploitation, China and Taxaceae.