Nothotsuga is a genus of coniferous
The conifers, division Pinophyta, also known as division Coniferophyta or Coniferae, are one of 13 or 14 division level taxa within the Kingdom Plantae. Pinophytes are gymnosperms. They are cone-bearing seed plants with vascular tissue; all extant conifers are woody plants, the great majority being...

A tree is a perennial woody plant. It is most often defined as a woody plant that has many secondary branches supported clear of the ground on a single main stem or trunk with clear apical dominance. A minimum height specification at maturity is cited by some authors, varying from 3 m to...

s in the family Pinaceae
Pinaceae are trees or shrubs, including many of the well-known conifers of commercial importance such as cedars, firs, hemlocks, larches, pines and spruces. The family is included in the order Pinales, formerly known as Coniferales. Pinaceae are supported as monophyletic by its protein-type sieve...

, in many respects intermediate between the genera Keteleeria
Keteleeria is a genus of three species of coniferous trees in the family Pinaceae, related to the genera Nothotsuga and Pseudolarix. It is distinguished from Nothotsuga by the much larger cones, and from Pseudolarix by the evergreen leaves and the cones not disintegrating readily at maturity...

and Tsuga
Tsuga is a genus of conifers in the family Pinaceae. The common name hemlock is derived from a perceived similarity in the smell of its crushed foliage to that of the unrelated plant poison hemlock....

. It is distinguished from Tsuga by the larger, erect cones
Conifer cone
A cone is an organ on plants in the division Pinophyta that contains the reproductive structures. The familiar woody cone is the female cone, which produces seeds. The male cones, which produce pollen, are usually herbaceous and much less conspicuous even at full maturity...

 with exserted bract
In botany, a bract is a modified or specialized leaf, especially one associated with a reproductive structure such as a flower, inflorescence axis, or cone scale. Bracts are often different from foliage leaves. They may be smaller, larger, or of a different color, shape, or texture...

s, and (like Keteleeria) male cones in umbel
An umbel is an inflorescence which consists of a number of short flower stalks which are equal in length and spread from a common point, somewhat like umbrella ribs....

s, and from Keteleeria by the shorter leaves
A leaf is an organ of a vascular plant, as defined in botanical terms, and in particular in plant morphology. Foliage is a mass noun that refers to leaves as a feature of plants....

 and smaller cones. Nothotsuga contains only one species, N. longibracteata, commonly known as the Bristlecone Hemlock, which is found in southeastern China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, in southern Fujian
' , formerly romanised as Fukien or Huguing or Foukien, is a province on the southeast coast of mainland China. Fujian is bordered by Zhejiang to the north, Jiangxi to the west, and Guangdong to the south. Taiwan lies to the east, across the Taiwan Strait...

, northern Guangdong
Guangdong is a province on the South China Sea coast of the People's Republic of China. The province was previously often written with the alternative English name Kwangtung Province...

, northeast Guangxi
Guangxi, formerly romanized Kwangsi, is a province of southern China along its border with Vietnam. In 1958, it became the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China, a region with special privileges created specifically for the Zhuang people.Guangxi's location, in...

, northeast Guizhou
' is a province of the People's Republic of China located in the southwestern part of the country. Its provincial capital city is Guiyang.- History :...

 and southwest Hunan
' is a province of South-Central China, located to the south of the middle reaches of the Yangtze River and south of Lake Dongting...


It is an evergreen
In botany, an evergreen plant is a plant that has leaves in all seasons. This contrasts with deciduous plants, which completely lose their foliage during the winter or dry season.There are many different kinds of evergreen plants, both trees and shrubs...

 tree reaching 30 m tall. The leaves are flat, needle-like, 1.2-4 cm long and 1-2 mm broad, very similar to those of Tsuga. The cones are very similar to those of Keteleeria but smaller, 2.5-5 cm long, erect, and mature in about 6-8 months after pollination
Pollination is the process by which pollen is transferred in plants, thereby enabling fertilisation and sexual reproduction. Pollen grains transport the male gametes to where the female gamete are contained within the carpel; in gymnosperms the pollen is directly applied to the ovule itself...


It is a very rare tree, endangered
Endangered species
An endangered species is a population of organisms which is at risk of becoming extinct because it is either few in numbers, or threatened by changing environmental or predation parameters...

 in the wild due to historical deforestation
Deforestation is the removal of a forest or stand of trees where the land is thereafter converted to a nonforest use. Examples of deforestation include conversion of forestland to farms, ranches, or urban use....

, though it is now protected. It was discovered in 1932, and at first treated as Tsuga longibracteata, being classified in its own genus
In biology, a genus is a low-level taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, which is an example of definition by genus and differentia...

in 1989 when new research indicated how distinct it is from other species of Tsuga.
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.