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Eight First-Class National Protected Plants in China – I/II

Sep 30, 2010

Among 30,000+ plant species in China, eight of them are classified as “First-Class National Protected Plants“. They are all of great scientific and economic value.

Today I am going to introduce 4 of them. The other four will be in next post.

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Alsophila spinulosa | by {link:http://www.flickr.com/photos/plj/540324324/}plj.johnny{/link}

NO.1 Alsophila spinulosa, aka. Cyathea spinulosa 桫椤wiki

A woody tree fern species of the fern family “Cyatheaceae”. They are both ornamental and economic trees, distributed in the southern provinces of China. They were widely distributed on Earth during Mesozoic Era. Now there are many unique endemic species. It is an ideal subject to study the relationship between the formation and geographical distribution of plants.

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Ginseng | by {link:http://www.flickr.com/photos/sarahhsia/3498593665/}sarahhsia{/link}

NO.2 Panax ginseng 人参wiki

Araliaceae perennial herb. it is a Tertiary relict plant, also a well-known economic plant as valuable Chinese medicine. Due to excessive excavation, it has been at the brink of extinction in the northeast China. It is only produced in northeast China and northern Korea. Domestic cultivation is hard and requires high technique.

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Cathaya | by {link:http://www.flickr.com/photos/heiyo/2472937469/}heiyo{/link}

NO.3 Cathaya argyrophylla 银杉wiki

Pinaceae evergreen tree. Its pollen were found in the Tertiary sediments of the Eurasian continent. It’s also known as the giant panda of Plantae kingdom. As a relict species endemic to China, it has a history of more than 10 million years. It almost went extinction during the glacier age in the late Tertiary. Only a few remnants survived in the low latitude southwest China, where they were discovered in 1950s.

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Dawn Redwood | by {link:http://www.flickr.com/photos/urtica/224152111/}urtica{/link}

NO.4 Dawn Redwood 水杉 (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) — wiki

My favorite tree. My home town is the “second hometown” to this beautiful species. Taxodiaceae large deciduous tree, endemic to China and the world famous relict plant, known as “living fossils”. Natural distribution at the border between Hubei, Sichuan, Hunan. In the Cherry Vale of Beijing Botanical Garden, there are a spectacular Metasequoia forest that you can rarely found in north China.

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