|The Botanic Garden
of Smith College
nown only in Southeast Asia, the genus Amentotaxus includes some of the rarest conifers in the wild and is almost unknown in cultivation. Members of the yew family, the Taxaceae, the four known species of Amentotaxus are found in subtropical areas of China, Taiwan, Vietnam, and northeast India. The plants have yewlike leaves but are much larger and are notable for the beautiful white stripes on the underside of the leaves.
Smith botanists have collected Amentotaxus formosana in Taiwan and Amentotaxus yunnanensis in northern Vietnam. Cuttings were successfully rooted, and we have provided research material to other scientists studying the complex genetics and evolution of the gymnosperms. This was the first introduction of A. yunnanensis into cultivation.
For futher reading see Keith D. Rushforth, Conifers, Facts on File, New York, 1987, and Hsuan Keng, "Aspects of morphology of Amentotaxus formosana with a note on the taxonomic postion of the genus," Journal of the Arnold Arboretum, Volume 50, pp. 432-445, 1969.
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