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Papuacedrus Genus

3 Species with 2 Trinomials

Papuacedrus papuana is a species in the conifer family Cupressaceae, the sole species in the genus Papuacedrus. Some botanists do not consider this species as forming a distinct genus, but include it in the related genus Libocedrus. It is native to New Guinea and the eastern Moluccas.

Botanical specimen in the Lyman Plant House, Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts.
Botanical specimen in the Lyman Plant House, Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts.

Photo by Daderot via WIkipedia

It is usually a medium-sized to large evergreen tree 16–50 m tall, at high altitudes only a shrub reaching up to 3 m). The foliage is borne in flat sprays, with the leaves scale-like, in opposite pairs, with facial and lateral pairs alternating; the lateral leaves are larger, 2–3 mm long on mature trees and up to 20 mm long on young trees, the facial leaves smaller, 1 mm on mature trees and up to 8 mm on young trees. The cones are 1–2 cm long, with four scales, a small, sterile basal pair, and a larger fertile pair; the fertile scales each bearing two winged seeds.

The species has two varieties, most readily distinguishable as young plants with juvenile leaves (the adult foliage being nearly indistinguishable):

Papuacedrus papuana var. papuana (syn. Libocedrus papuana F.Muell., Libocedrus torricellensis Schltr., Papuacedrus torricellensis (Schltr.) H.L.Li). New Guinea, east of 138°E longitude; 620-3,800 m altitude. Juvenile leaves with a spreading, hook-like apex.

Papuacedrus papuana var. arfakensis (Gibbs) R.J.Johns (syn. Libocedrus arfakensis Gibbs, Papuacedrus arfakensis (Gibbs) H.L.Li). New Guinea, west of 138°E longitude, Moluccas; 700-2,400 m altitude. Juvenile leaves not spreading, the apex not free from the shoot.

Papuacedrus_papuana_cropped