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Cathaya is a genus in the pine family, Pinaceae, with one known living species, Cathaya argyrophylla. Cathaya is a member of the subfamily Laricoideae, most closely related to Pseudotsuga and Larix. A second species, C. nanchuanensis, is now treated as a synonym, as it does not differ from C. argyrophylla in any characters.
Chun & Kuang
Chun & Kuang
Cathaya is confined to a limited area in southern China, in the provinces of Guangxi, Guizhou, Hunan and southeast Sichuan. It is found on steep, narrow mountain slopes at 950–1800 m altitude, on limestone soils. A larger population has been reduced by over-cutting before its scientific discovery and protection in 1950.
The leaves are needle-like, 2.5–5 cm long, have ciliate (hairy) margins when young, and grow around the stems in a spiral pattern. The cones are 3–5 cm long, with about 15–20 scales, each scale bearing two winged seeds.
One or two botanists, unhappy with the idea of a new genus in such a familiar family, tried to shoehorn it into other existing genera, as Pseudotsuga argyrophylla and Tsuga argyrophylla. It is however very distinct from both of these genera, and these combinations are not now used.
The Butchart Gardens in Victoria, British Columbia had a small living specimen. The tree died in 2017.
Cathaya sp. fossils are described from the early Pleistocene of southern Portugal. They are abundant in European brown coal deposits dating from between 10–30 million years ago.
- ^ Yang, Y.; Liao, W. (2013). "Cathaya argyrophylla". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2013: e.T32316A2814173. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2013-1.RLTS.T32316A2814173.en. Retrieved 25 September 2021.
- ^ "Cathaya". Plants of the World Online. Royal Botanical Gardens Kew. Retrieved 2018-11-07.
- ^ "Cathaya nanchuanensis". Plants of the World Online. Royal Botanical Gardens Kew. Retrieved 2018-11-07.
- ^ "Cathaya argyrophylla". Plants of the World Online. Royal Botanical Gardens Kew. Retrieved 2018-11-07.
- ^ Forest Context and Policies in Portugal: Present and Future Challenges by Fernando Reboredo – Springer, 28. aug. 2014 – ISBN 978-3-319-08455-8