Seeds of China's tallest known tree collected in SW Yunnan Province

Scientists in southwest China's Yunnan Province have collected seeds of the tallest known tree in the country. The Taiwania cryptomerioides, an evergreen conifer, grows in the Gaoligong Mountains in the western Yunnan highlands, straddling the border with Myanmar.

The tree measures 72 meters tall and more than 250 centimeters in girth. It's more than 1,000 years old. The species is one of the largest in Asia.


Scientists atop the Taiwania cryptomerioides (Image by KIB)

                                                                                                           A scientist ascends the Taiwania cryptomerioides (Image by KIB)

The seed collecting mission was led by the Germplasm Bank of Wild Species (GBOWS) at the Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences. The team ascended to the treetop using what's known as the single-rope technique to collect the cone, which contains the reproductive structure of the plant.

The seeds have now been preserved for long-term storage after drying, cleaning and counting. It's the first sample of wild coffin tree seeds for the GBOWS, and scientists say the move will help preserve the wild genes of the species.


                                                                                                               Seed of Taiwania cryptomerioides (Image by KIB)


                                                                                                               Cone of Taiwania cryptomerioides (Image by KIB)


Both scientists and conservationists believe there are most certainly larger trees in China. But this Taiwania cryptomerioides is the tallest that has been measured. (CGTN)

(Editor: Yang Mei)



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