The Taxonomic History and Original Literatures Arrangements of Living Cephalotaxus (Cephalotaxaceae)
Xuedong Lang, Jianrong Su, Zhijun Zhang, Shugang Lu
DOI: 10.4236/ajps.2011.23058   PDF   HTML     5,489 Downloads   9,858 Views   Citations


Living Cephalotaxus (plum yews) occurs mainly in East Asia and North of Indo-China peninsula. The study of original taxonomic literatures found that, in early days, the plum yews had ever been described as palnts of Taxus (Taxaceae). Since after the genus name Cephalotaxus Sieb. & Zucc. was firstly cited (from inedited and unpublished Flora Japonica) by Endlicher in 1842, most taxonomist thought which is the earliest time of the genus Cephalotaxus Sieb. & Zucc. was set. However, the genus Cephalotaxus Sieb. & Zucc. was formally effective and valid published by Sieb. & Zucc. in Flora Japonica in 1870 so that there exists some confusions in chronological order. Originally as a genus, Cephalotaxus was included in family Taxaceae and Neger (1907) separated Cephalotaxus from Taxaceae and set family Cephalotaxaceae. Later, Fu (1984) divided Cephalotaxus up into two sections of Cephalotaxus Sieb. & Zucc. sect. Pectinatae L. K. Fu and Cephalotaxus Sieb. & Zucc. sect. Cephalotaxus L. K. Fu on the bases of C. oliveri Masters differ significantly from other taxa of Cephalotaxus in morphological characteristics. Although the plum yews was a little genus of conifers, up to now, about 77 taxa have still been published by taxonomist in different countries or regions. Among them, C. tardiva Sieb. ex Endl. (1847), C. umbraculifera Sieb. ex Endl. (1847), C. sumatrana Miq. (1856) and C. celebica Warb. (1900) have been combined to Taxus, and C. argotaenia (Hance) Pilger (1903) has been combined to Amentotaxus. And at the same time, those taxa existing in Cephalotaxus courently which were accepted by most taxonomist in different countries was also cited in acticle. Lastly, the paper thought presently there still exists many debates about binary classification of Cephalotaxus and the nomenclature of this genus still particularly confusing. Based on some controversial problems, we also point out some taxonomically researching directions at creating some order out of the chaos.

Share and Cite:

Lang, X. , Su, J. , Zhang, Z. and Lu, S. (2011) The Taxonomic History and Original Literatures Arrangements of Living Cephalotaxus (Cephalotaxaceae). American Journal of Plant Sciences, 2, 496-506. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2011.23058.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] J. Ohwi, “Cephalotaxaceae,” Flora of Japan (in English), Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C., 1965, p. 111.
[2] T. Nakai, “Plantae Japonicae & Koreanae,” The Botanical Magazine (Tokyo), Vol. 44, No. 526, 1930, p. 508.
[3] L. K. Fu, “A Study on the Genus Cephalotaxus Sieb. et Zucc.,” Acta Phytotaxonomica Sinica, Vol. 22, No. 4, 1984, pp. 277-288.
[4] H. L. Li and H. Keng, “Taxaceae,” In: H. T. Chieng, Ed., Flora of Taiwan, 2nd edition, Editorial Committee of the Flora of Taiwan, Tai Pei, Taiwan, 1994, p. 550.
[5] J. D. Hooker (Hook. f.), “Conifers, Tribe Taxodieae,” In: J. D. Hooker, K. C. S. I., C. B., M. D. and F. R. S., Eds., Hooker’s Icones Plantaeum, Williams and Norgate, London, No. Plate. 1933, 1890, p. 10.
[6] M. Newman, S. Ketphanh, B. Svengsuksa, P. Thomas, K. Sengdala, V. Lamxay and K. Armstrong, “A Checklist of the Vascular Plants of Lao PDR,” Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2007, p. 34.
[7] P. Thomas, K. Sengdala, V. Lamxay and E. Khou, “New Records of Conifers in Cambodia and Laos, ” Edinburgh Journal of Botany, Vol. 64, No. 1, 2007, pp. 1-9. doi:10.1017/S0960428606000734
[8] C. Phengklai, “Pinaceae/Cephalotaxaceae/Cupressac- eae,” Flora of Thailand, Vol. 2, 1972, pp. 193-196.
[9] W. L. Werner, “Pines and Other Conifers in Thailand―A Quaternary Relic?” Journal of Quaternary Science, Vol. 12, No. 5, 1997, pp. 451-454. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1099-1417(199709/10)12:5<451::AID-JQS328>3.0.CO;2-F
[10] J. Forbes and J. R. Bedford (Duke of), “Taxus harringtonii, Earl of Harrington’s Yew,” Pinetum Woburnense, James Moyes, London, 1839, p. 217.
[11] N. T. Hiep, P. K. Loc, N. D. T. Luu, P. I. Thomas, A. Farjon, L. Averyanov and J. R. Jr, “Vietnam Conifers – Conservation Status Review 2004,” Fauna & Flora International, Vietnam Programme, Hanoi, 2004, p. 47.
[12] K. E. Tripp, “Cephalotaxus: The Plum Yews,” Arnoldia, 1995, pp. 25-39.
[13] K. Koch, “Cephalotaxus Sieb. et Zucc.,” Dendrologie, Ferdinand Enke, Erlangen, Vol. 2, No. 2, 1873, pp. 102-104.
[14] P. F. Siebold and J. G. Zuccarini, “Taxiaeae,” Florae Japonicae Familiae Naturales: Adjectis Generum et Specierum Exemplis Selectis, 1846, p. 108. [or: A. Wagner, “Die Geographische Verbreitung der Saugthiere,” Abhandlungen der Akademie der Wissenschaften in München, Vol. 4 (Pt. III.), 1846, p. 232.]
[15] S. Endlicher, “Taxiaeae,” Mantissa Botanica Sistens, Generum Plantarum Supplementum Quartum, Vol. 2, 1842, p. 27.
[16] R. K. F. Pilger, “Taxaceae,” In: A. Engler, Ed., Das Pflanzenreich (heft.18), 4th edition, Wilhelm Engelmann, Leipzig, Vol. 5, 1903, pp. 99-105.
[17] F. W. Neger, “Cephalotaxaceae,” In: G. J. G?schen, ed., Die Nadelh?lzer (Koniferen) und übrigen Gymnospermen, Leipzig, 1907, p. 23.
[18] R. K. F. Pilger, “Gymnospermae (Cephalotaxaceae),” In: H. G. A. Engler and K. A. E. Prantl, Eds., Die Naturlichen Pflanzenfamilien, 2nd edition, Verlag Von Wilhelm Engelmann, Leipzig, Vol. 13, 1926, pp. 199-267.
[19] E. W. J. Phillips, “The Identification of Coniferous Woods by Their Microscopic Structure,” Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, Vol. 52, No. 343, 1941, pp. 259-320. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.1941.tb01390.x
[20] The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, The Harvard University Herbaria, and the Australian National Herbarium, “International Plant Names Index (IPNI),” 2011.
[21] P. F. Siebold and J. G. Zuccarini, “Cephalotaxus,” Flora Japonica (Volume Secundum), In horto sieboldiano acclimatationis dicto, Lugduni Batavorum, 1870, pp. 66-67.
[22] W. J. Hooker, K. H., D. C. L. and Oxon, “Cephalotaxus fortuni,” Curtis’s Botanical Magzine—Comprising the Plants of the Royal Gardens of Kew and of Other Botanical Establishments in Great Britain, Reeve and Benham, London, Vol. 6, 1850, p. t. 4499.
[23] E. A. Carrière, “Cephalotaxus Sieb. et Zucc.,” Traité général des Conifères, Chez l’auteur, Paris, 1855, pp. 507-510.
[24] E. A. Carriere, “Cephalotaxus,” Production et Fixation des Variétés dans les Végétaux, Librairie Agricole de la Maison Rustique, Paris, 1865, p. 44.
[25] F. A. W. Miquel, “Cephalotaxus Sieb. et Zucc.,” Flora Nederlandsch Indiê, Fried Fleischer, Leipzig, Vol. 2, 1856, p. 1076.
[26] F. A. W. Miquel, “Cephalotaxus Sieb. et Zucc.,” Annales Musei Botanici Lugduno-Batavi, Vol. 3, 1867, p. 169.
[27] J. Wiesehof, “Cephalotaxus kaempferi der Garten,” In: K. Koch and G.. A. Fintelmann, Eds., Garten Nachrichten-Wochenschrift für G?rtnerei und Pflanzenkunde, Karl Wiegandt, Berlin, Vol. 1, No. 11, 1858, p. 41.
[28] G. Gordon, A. L. S., R. Glendinning and F. H. S., “Genus Cephalotaxus Siebold, the Cluster-Flowered Yews,” Henry G. Bohn, ed., Pinetum, London, 1858, pp. 44-48.
[29] A. Lavallée, “Coniferae,” Arboretum Segrezianum- énumération des Arbres et Arbrisseaux, Librairie J.-B. Bailliere et Fils., Paris, 1877, p. 295.
[30] M. T. Masters, “The Arbretum,” The Gardeners’ Chronicle. new. series. Bradeurv, Agnew, & CO., London, Vol. 21, 1884, p. 113.
[31] M. T. Masters, “De Coniferis,” Bulletin de l’Herbier Boissier, Vol. 6, 1898, p. 270.
[32] J. D. Hooker (Hook. f.), “Conifers, Tribe Taxodieae,” In: J. D. Hooker, K. C. S. I., C. B. and M. D., Eds., Hooker’s Icones Plantaeum, Williams and Norgate, London, 1886, p. 6, Plate. 1523.
[33] J. D. Hooker (Hook. f.), “Coniferis,” In: J. D. Hooker, C. B. and K. C. S. I., Eds., Flora of British India, Lreeve & CO., London, Vol. 5, 1888, pp. 647-648.
[34] L. Beissner, “Cephalotaxus Sieb. et Zucc.,” Handbuch der Nadelholzkunde, Paul Parey, Berlin, 1891, pp. 178-184.
[35] L. Bei?ner (Beissner), “Nachtr?ge. Die Taxales,” Mitteilungen der Deutschen Dendrologischen Gesellschaft, Vol. 10, 1901, p. 117.
[36] A. Franchet, “Plantarum sinensium ecloge tertia,” In: M. L. Morot, Ed., Journal de Botanique, Vol. 13, 1899, p. 265.
[37] O. Warburg, “Taxeae,” Monsunia i: Beitr?ge zur Ken- ntnis der Vegetation des süd und ostasiatischen Monsungebietes, Wilhelm Engelmann, Leipzig, 1900, p. 194.
[38] R. K. F. Pilger, “Die Taxales,” Mitteilungen der Deutschen Dendrologischen Gesellschaft, Vol. 25, 1916, pp. 19-23.
[39] R. K. F. Pilger, “Cephalotaxaceae,” In: A. Engler, Ed., Botanische Jahrbucherfur Systematik, Pflanzengeschi- chte and Pflanzengeographie, Vol. 54, 1916, p. 33.
[40] R. K. F. Pilger, “Amentotaxus,” In: A. Engler, Ed, Botanische Jahrbücher für Systematik, Pflanzengeschichte und Pflanzengeographie, Wilhelm Engelmann, Leipzig, Vol. 54, 1916, p. 41.
[41] A. Rehder, E. H. Wilson, “Taxaceae,” In: Ch. S. Sargent, Ed., Plantae Wilsonianae, (an Enumeration of the Woody Plants Collected in Western China for the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University during the Years 1907, 1908, and 1910), Vol. 2, 1914, pp. 3-10.
[42] A. Rehder, “New Species, Varieties and Combinations from the Herbarium and the Collections of the Arnold Arboretum,” Journal of the Arnold Arboretum Harvard University, Vol. 4, No. 2, 1923, p. 107.
[43] B. Hayata, “Coniferae,” Iconum Plantarum Formosanarum, IV, 1914, p. 22.
[44] T. Nakai, “Notulae and Plantas Japoniae at Koreae X XI.,” The Botanical Magazine, Tokyo, Vol. 33, No. 395, 1919, pp. 193-194.
[45] Y. Kudo, “Cephalotaxus Sieb. et Zucc.,” Taxonomy of Useful Trees and Shrubs of Japan, or Nihon yuuyou Jumoku Bunshu-gaku, or Nihon yuyo jumoku bunruigaku, Maruzen Company, Limited., Tokyo, 1922, pp. 8-9.
[46] A. Rehder, “New Species, Varieties and Combinations from the Collections of the Arnold Arboretum,” Journal of the Arnold Arboretum Harvard University, Vol. 22, 1941, p. 569.
[47] A. Rehder, “C. harringtonia (Knight ex Forbes) K. Koch f. fastigiata (Carr.) Rehd.,” Bibliography of Cultivated Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the Cooler Temperate Regions of the Northern Hemisphere, Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, 1949, p. 5.
[48] S. Hatusima, “Cephalotaxus drupacea var. koreana (Nakai) Hatsus,” Bulletin of the Kyushu Imperial University Forests 5 or Preliminary Reports on the Flowering Plants and Ferns collected in the Nansen Experimental Forest of Kyushu Imperial University, Research Institution of University Forests, Faculty of Agriculture, Kyushu University, Kyushu, 1934, pp. 38-39.
[49] W. Dallimore, A. B. Jackson and A. L. S., “Cephalotaxus Sieb. et Zucc.,” A Handbook of Coniferae including Ginkgoaceae, Edward Arnold Ltd., London, 1948, pp. 38-44.
[50] H. L. Li, “New Species and Varieties in cephalotaxus,” Lloydia, Vol. 16, No. 3, 1953, pp. 162-164.
[51] S. Y. Hu, “Notes on the Flora of China IV,” Taiwania, Vol. 10, 1964, pp. 25-31.
[52] S. Kitamura, “Short Reports of Japanese Plants,” Acta phytotaxonomica et geobotanica, Vol. 26, No. 1-2, 1974, p. 9.
[53] W. C. Cheng, L. K. Fu and C. Y. Cheng, “Gymnospermae Sinicae,” Acta Phytotaxonomica Sinica, Vol. 13, No. 4, 1975, p. 86.
[54] J. Silba, “A Supplement to the International Census of the Coniferae. II.,” Phytologia, Vol. 68, No. 1, 1990, p. 27.
[55] J. Silba, “Cephalotaxus harringtonia var. latifolia (W. C. Cheng & L. K. Fu) Silba,” Journal of the International Conifer Preservation Society, Vol. 7, No. 1, 2000, p. 22.
[56] J. Silba, “A Revision of the Genera Cephalotaxus and Pseudotaxus,” Journal of the International Conifer Preservation Society, Vol. 14, No. 1, 2007, pp. 4-20.
[57] N. Li. and L. K. Fu, “Notes on Gymnosperms I. Taxonomic Treatments of Some Chinese Conifers,” Novon, Vol. 7, No. 3, 1997, pp. 261-264.
[58] L. K. Fu, R. R. Mill and N. J. Turland, “Validation of the Name Cephalotaxus latifolia (Cephalotaxaceae), a Species from Southeast China,” Novon, Vol. 9, No. 2, 1999, pp. 185-186.
[59] D. Koidzumi, “Contributiones ad Cognitionem Florae asiae Orientalis,” The Botanical Magazine (Tokyo), Vol. 44, No. 518, 1930, p. 98.
[60] R. W. Spjut, “Taxonomy and Nomenclature of taxus (Taxaceae),” Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas, Vol. 1, No. 1, 2007, pp. 203-289.
[61] Korea National Arboretum, Plant Taxonomic Society of Korea, National Plant List Committee and Cultivated Plant List Committee, “The Korean Plant Names Index (KPNI),” 2011. Prge05/Prge5_6.js
[62] C. Phengklai, “Pinaceae/Cephalotaxaceae/Cupressa- ceae,” Flora of Thailand, Applied Scientific Research Corporation of Thailand, Bangkok, Vol. 2, 1972, pp. 193-196.
[63] M. T. Masters, F. R. S., “Coniferae,” The Journal of the Linneae society, Vol. 26. 1899, pp. 544-546.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.