NOVON 9(2): 185-186. 1999.

Validation of the Name Cephalotaxus latifolia (Cephalotaxaceae), a Species from Southeast China

Fu Li-kuo

Herbarium, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 20 Nanxincun, Xiangshan, Beijing 100093, People’s Republic of China

Robert R. Mill

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 20a Inverleith Row, Edinburgh EH3 5LR, Scotland, United Kingdom

Nicholas J. Turland

Missouri Botanical Garden, P.O. Box 299, St. Louis, Missouri 63166, U.S.A.

Abstract. The name Cephalotaxus latifolia (W. C. Cheng & L. K. Fu) L. K. Fu is an invalid combination because it was based on C. sinensis (Rehder & E. H. Wilson ) H. L. Li var. latifolia W. C. Cheng & L. K. Fu, which is itself invalid because two specimens (male and female) were indicated as types in the protologue. The name is here validated at the rank of species, with the female specimen as the holotype.

Cephalotaxus latifolia W. C. Cheng & L. K. Fu ex L. K. Fu & R. R. Mill, sp. nov. TYPE: China. Sichuan: Nanchuan County, Jinfe Mountain, 1760 m (female), X. Q. Chen & K. Y. Liang 2463 (holotype, PE).

Species Cephalotaxo sinensi (Rehder & E. H. Wilson) H. L. Li affinis, sed ramulis robustis; foliis latioribus, apice abrupte mucronatis, margine recurvatis differt.

Shrubs or small trees to 5 m; bark grayish brown; branchlets stout. Branchlets oblong in outline, plane, 5.5--9 ´ 4--5 cm. Leaves borne at (60°--)65°--80°(--85°) to branchlet axis, sessile but decurrent for whole length of internode; blade dark olive green abaxially, linear, ± straight, 1.6--3 cm ´ 2.8--4(--6) mm, thick and leathery, midvein raised abaxially and bordered on each side by a paler, longitudinal channel, strongly raised adaxially, 0.25--0.5 mm wide, stomatal bands white, 0.8--1 mm wide, of 11--15 rows of stomata, ca. 2--3´ as wide as midvein, marginal bands green, ca. 0.3 mm wide, base cuneate, slightly asymmetric, margin flat (slightly revolute when dry), apex abruptly mucronate (mucro 0.2--0.4 mm). Pollen cone capitula axillary on adaxial side of branchlet axis; peduncle 1.5--2.5 mm, scaly; bracts ca. 9, ovate, in 4 rows, apical bracts ca. 0.7 ´ 0.3 mm, apex mucronate. Seed cones borne 2--6 together; peduncle 2--4 mm, scaly. Seed obovoid, 1.8--2 cm, apex with small mucro at center. Pollination May.

This species is endemic to China, occurring in thickets in mountainous areas from 900 to 2400 m in Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hubei, Jiangxi, and Sichuan provinces.

Cephalotaxus latifolia was originally described as C. sinensis var. latifolia by W. C. Cheng and L. K. Fu (in Cheng et al., 1975: 86). However, that name is invalid under the Tokyo Code (Arts. 8.1, 37.1) because two types (a male collection, J. H. Xiong & Z. L. Zhou 90227, and a female collection, X. Q. Chen & K. Y. Liang 2463) were designated. The name was later raised to the rank of species by L. K. Fu (Fu, 1984: 280), but no validation was effected at that time either. The female collection is here selected as the type specimen.

Cephalotaxus latifolia is more similar to C. harringtonii (Knight ex J. Forbes) K. Koch ["harringtonia"] (= C. drupacea Siebold & Zuccarini), from Japan and Korea, than to C. sinensis. The two species may be distinguished by their leaf apexes: the leaves of C. harringtonii usually terminate in a relatively long cusp (as in C. sinensis), while those of C. latifolia have the apex abruptly mucronate (mucro 0.2--0.4 mm). Cephalotaxus harringtonii has often been recorded from China (e.g., by Hu, 1964: 25--26), but apparently always as a misidentification of either C. latifolia or C. sinensis.

Cephalotaxus sinensis has relatively longer leaves (7--10´ as long as wide vs. 5--7´ as long as wide in C. latifolia), which are gradually acuminate into a cusp that is 0.5--1 mm long. In C. latifolia the leaf apex ends abruptly in a short mucro only 0.2--0.4 mm long. In C. latifolia the pollen cone capitula are borne on scaly (bracteate) peduncles; in C. sinensis these are naked.

Acknowledgments. We thank Dai Lunkai (PE) and Guanghua Zhu (MO) for their assistance, and an anonymous reviewer for helpful comments. The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is supported by the Scottish Office of Agriculture, Environment and Fisheries Department.

Literature Cited

Cheng, W. C., L. K. Fu & C. Y. Cheng. 1975. Gymnospermae sinicae. Acta Phytotax. Sin. 13(4): 56--89.

Fu, L. K. 1984. A study on the genus Cephalotaxus Sieb. et Zucc. Acta Phytotax. Sin. 22: 277--288.

Hu, S. Y. 1964. Notes on the Flora of China IV. Taiwania 10: 13--62.