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Useful Tropical Plants

Glyptostrobus pensilis

(Staunton ex D.Don) K.Koch

Cupressaceae

+ Synonyms

Cuprespinnata heterophylla (Brongn.) J.Nelson

Cuprespinnata sinensis (J.Forbes) J.Nelson

Cupressus nucifera Carrière

Glyptostrobus aquaticus (Roxb.) R.Parker

Glyptostrobus heterophyllus (Brongn.) Endl.

Glyptostrobus sinensis A.Henry ex Loder

Juniperus aquatica Roxb.

Sabina aquatica (Roxb.) Antoine

Schubertia nucifera Denham ex Endl.

Taxodium heterophyllum Brongn.

Taxodium japonicum Dehnh. ex Gordon

Taxodium sinense J.Forbes

Thuja lavandulifolia Poir.

Thuja pensilis Staunton ex D.Don

Common Name: Chinese Swamp Cypress

Glyptostrobus pensilis
Fairly young cultivated tree in England
Photograph by: Tim Sheerman-Chase
Creative Commons License
Glyptostrobus pensilis Glyptostrobus pensilis Glyptostrobus pensilis Glyptostrobus pensilis Glyptostrobus pensilis

General Information

Chinese swamp cypress is a semi-evergreen tree with a conical crown that becomes more spreading in older trees; it usually grows up to 10 metres tall, exceptionally to 25 metres. The straight bole can be up to 120cm in diameter with buttresses up to 70cm high and often with pneumatophores[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
,
443
Title
Biotik, Laos
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://biotik.org/species_list_laos.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Information on more than 100 species of Laotian trees.
].
The tree is harvested for a range of local uses, especially for its wood but also as a medicine and source of tannins. It is also grown to provide wind shelter and to stabilize soil along river banks. The species is widely cultivated in southern China and is planted there along rivers and canals as well as in parks; except for the latter localities the trees are planted mostly in order to be able to harvest the timber - this is generally followed by replanting[
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
]. The tree has a very attractive habit and is suitable for planting near water in parks and gardens[
938
Title
Conifers of Vietnam
Publication
 
Author
Luu N.D.T.; Thomas P.I.
Website
http://www.ceh.ac.uk/sections/bm/conifer_manual.html
Publisher
Darwin Initiative
Year
2004
ISBN
1-872291-64-3
Description
Described by the publishers as an illustrated field guide for the most important forest trees of Vietnam, it is available as a PDF document on the Internet.
].
Chinese swamp cypress is the last remaining species in a genus that has flourished for over 100 million years and was a major source of the wood that led to the formation of coal deposits. There are very few wild stands of the plant remaining in what was once a very extensive range. In China and Vietnam habitat loss due to intensive agriculture has been the main cause of decline. The subpopulations in Vietnam are within coffee plantations, where the water table has been altered and the trees are no longer producing fertile seed. The plant is classified as 'Critically Endangered' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2013)[
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.

Range

E. Asia - Southern China, Vietnam, Laos.

Habitat

River deltas, etc., on flooded or waterlogged soil in full sun near sea level and up to 750 metres[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
,
938
Title
Conifers of Vietnam
Publication
 
Author
Luu N.D.T.; Thomas P.I.
Website
http://www.ceh.ac.uk/sections/bm/conifer_manual.html
Publisher
Darwin Initiative
Year
2004
ISBN
1-872291-64-3
Description
Described by the publishers as an illustrated field guide for the most important forest trees of Vietnam, it is available as a PDF document on the Internet.
]. This species is usually only found planted and is almost extinct in the wild[
185
Title
Conifers in the British Isles.
Publication
 
Author
Mitchell. A. F.
Publisher
HMSO
Year
1975
ISBN
0-11-710012-9
Description
A bit out of date (first published in 1972), but an excellent guide to how well the various species of conifers grow in Britain giving locations of trees.
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
].

Properties

Conservation StatusCritically Endangered
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitSemi-deciduous Tree
Height10.00 m
Growth RateMedium
PollinatorsWind
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Ornamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

Chinese swamp cypress is a species of the subtropics and tropical areas. In Vietnam it is found in areas with a monsoon tropical climate, with a mean annual temperature of 20 - 23°c and a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,300 -1,800 mm[
938
Title
Conifers of Vietnam
Publication
 
Author
Luu N.D.T.; Thomas P.I.
Website
http://www.ceh.ac.uk/sections/bm/conifer_manual.html
Publisher
Darwin Initiative
Year
2004
ISBN
1-872291-64-3
Description
Described by the publishers as an illustrated field guide for the most important forest trees of Vietnam, it is available as a PDF document on the Internet.
]. It can also be grown in warmer areas of the temperate zone, though it is often less than 5 metres tall in such situations. Although said to succeed in zone 8, this species is barely hardy in colder zones without hot humid summers in order to ripen the wood[
11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
Thriving beside water and in damp places, plants require a very damp soil and will prove hardier if they are standing in up to 60cm of water[
81
Title
Conifers.
Publication
 
Author
Rushforth. K.
Publisher
Christopher Helm
Year
1987
ISBN
0-7470-2801-X
Description
Deals with conifers that can be grown outdoors in Britain. Good notes on cultivation and a few bits about plant uses.
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. They prefer growing in areas with hot summers and will die within 2 years if they are planted in a dry site[
81
Title
Conifers.
Publication
 
Author
Rushforth. K.
Publisher
Christopher Helm
Year
1987
ISBN
0-7470-2801-X
Description
Deals with conifers that can be grown outdoors in Britain. Good notes on cultivation and a few bits about plant uses.
].
This species is considered to be a symbol of good luck in its native regions and consequently it is not normally deliberately felled by villagers[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
].
Slower growing than the vegetatively similar swamp cypress, Taxodium distichum, it is late coming into leaf in the spring and also to lose its leaves in the autumn[
81
Title
Conifers.
Publication
 
Author
Rushforth. K.
Publisher
Christopher Helm
Year
1987
ISBN
0-7470-2801-X
Description
Deals with conifers that can be grown outdoors in Britain. Good notes on cultivation and a few bits about plant uses.
].

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

Antidote, oxytocic. Cures ascites, treats animal bites and dropsy of pregnant women[
178
Title
Chinese Materia Medica.
Publication
 
Author
Stuart. Rev. G. A.
Publisher
Taipei. Southern Materials Centre
Year
1911
ISBN
-
Description
A translation of an ancient Chinese herbal. Fascinating.
].

A decoction of the shoots is used in the treatment of fever, hepatitis, skin complaints etc. It is said to be an anodyne for animal bites[
218
Title
Medicinal Plants of China
Publication
 
Author
Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S.
Publisher
Reference Publications, Inc.
Year
1985
ISBN
0-917256-20-4
Description
Details of over 1,200 medicinal plants of China and brief details of their uses. Often includes an analysis, or at least a list of constituents. Heavy going if you are not into the subject.
].

The tree (the wood?) is reputed to have anti-cancer properties although there is no scientific evidence to support this[
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

Having an extensive root system, the tree is often planted in wet places for erosion control, as well as to stabilize river banks and paddy field walls[
81
Title
Conifers.
Publication
 
Author
Rushforth. K.
Publisher
Christopher Helm
Year
1987
ISBN
0-7470-2801-X
Description
Deals with conifers that can be grown outdoors in Britain. Good notes on cultivation and a few bits about plant uses.
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
].
The tree is used as a windbreak[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
].

Other Uses

Tannins extracted from the bark and the cone scales are used in tanning, dyeing, and fishing nets[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
].

The yellowish wood is rather soft and resists both water and decay. It is used for purposes such as making furniture and building bridges, buildings etc, often by utilizing wind-felled trees; and is highly valued for making boats[
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
,
938
Title
Conifers of Vietnam
Publication
 
Author
Luu N.D.T.; Thomas P.I.
Website
http://www.ceh.ac.uk/sections/bm/conifer_manual.html
Publisher
Darwin Initiative
Year
2004
ISBN
1-872291-64-3
Description
Described by the publishers as an illustrated field guide for the most important forest trees of Vietnam, it is available as a PDF document on the Internet.
]. The wood of the roots is very light and bouyant. It it is used to make life-saving rings, bottle corks etc[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
,
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
].

Propagation

Seed - usually soown at the beginning of the warm season, germination takes around 20 days[
938
Title
Conifers of Vietnam
Publication
 
Author
Luu N.D.T.; Thomas P.I.
Website
http://www.ceh.ac.uk/sections/bm/conifer_manual.html
Publisher
Darwin Initiative
Year
2004
ISBN
1-872291-64-3
Description
Described by the publishers as an illustrated field guide for the most important forest trees of Vietnam, it is available as a PDF document on the Internet.
].
Semi-hardwood cuttings, preferably with a heel and taken from juvenile trees, are relatively easy to root under mist, after treatment with hormones. It is also possible to propagate with cuttings from mature trees, but rooting percentages are low (about 2% after 10 weeks). Rooted cuttings should be kept shaded. Planting should be done on raised mounds, rather than directly into water logged areas[
938
Title
Conifers of Vietnam
Publication
 
Author
Luu N.D.T.; Thomas P.I.
Website
http://www.ceh.ac.uk/sections/bm/conifer_manual.html
Publisher
Darwin Initiative
Year
2004
ISBN
1-872291-64-3
Description
Described by the publishers as an illustrated field guide for the most important forest trees of Vietnam, it is available as a PDF document on the Internet.
].
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2019-11-11. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Glyptostrobus+pensilis>

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