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.
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.