Thuja sutchuenensis Franch. (1899:262)

Sichuan thuja, Sichuan arborvitæ, Ya Bai Shu (Chinese), 崖柏 (ya bai) (Chinese)



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Thuja sutchuensis Franch. (1899:262) [orth. error used by Humphreys et al., 2019]


Conservation Status

Last record: 1900 (Qiaoping et al., 2002a)

Rediscovered in October 1999 (Qiaoping et al., 2002a)

IUCN RedList status: Endangered



southern slope of the Daba Mountains, Chengkou County, Chongqing Municipality, China


Biology & Ecology










Original scientific description:

Franchet. (1899). Plantarum sinensium ecloge tertia. Journal de Botanique 13:262-263.


Other references:

Earle, Christopher J. (2023). Thuja sutchuenensis. The Gymnosperm Database (online). Available at: [Accessed 17 October 2023]

Farjon, Aljos. (2002). The rediscovery of Thuja sutchuenensis. Conifer Soc. Austral. Newsl. 21: 9.

Farjon, Aljos. (2005). A monograph of Cupressaceae and Sciadopitys. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. ISBN 1842460684.

Farjon, Aljos. (2010). A handbook of the world's Conifers 2: 533-1111. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden, Boston.

Farjon, Aljos and Page, C. N. (compilers). (1999). Conifers. Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan. IUCN/SSC Conifer Specialist Group. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Farjon, A., Page, C. N. and Schellevis, N. (1993). A preliminary world list of threatened conifer taxa. Biodiversity and Conservation 2: 304-326.

Fu LK, Jin JM eds. (1992). China Plant Red Data Book – Rare and Endangered Plants 1. Beijing, New York: Science Press.

Fu Liguo, Yu Yongfu, and Robert R. Mill. (1999). Taxodiaceae. In Wu Zheng-yi and Peter H. Raven (eds.). Flora of China, Volume 4. Beijing: Science Press; St. Louis: Missouri Botanical Garden.

Guo, Xueying et al. (In Press, 2019). Chemical constituents of the trunks and roots of Thuja sutchuenensis. Fitoterapia. doi: [Abstract]

Humphreys, Aelys M., Govaerts, Rafaël, Ficinski, Sarah Z., Lughadha, Eimear Nic and Vorontsova, Maria S. (2019). Global dataset shows geography and life form predict modern plant extinction and rediscovery. Nature Ecology & Evolution 3: 1043-1047. [Supplementary Dataset 1]

Li, X. (2008). Interim report of conservation of flagship threatened conifers in China: Thuja sutchuensis. Unpublished report. Wuhan Botanical Garden, China, Wuhan.

J. Liu, Shi, S., Chang, E. et al. (2013). Genetic diversity of the critically endangered Thuja sutchuenensis revealed by ISSR markers and the implications for conservation. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 14: 14860-14871.

National Environment Protection Bureau. (1987). The list of rare and endangered plants protected in China. Botanical Institute of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Academy Press, Beijing.

Oldfield, S., Lusty, C. and MacKinven, A. (compilers). (1998). The World List of Threatened Trees. World Conservation Press, Cambridge, UK.

Qin, Aili et al. (2017). Maxent modeling for predicting impacts of climate change on the potential distribution of Thuja sutchuenensis Franch., an extremely endangered conifer from southwestern China. Global Ecology and Conservation 10: 139-146. [Abstract]

Qin, Aili et al. (2021). Low genetic diversity and population differentiation in Thuja sutchuenensis Franch., an extremely endangered rediscovered conifer species in southwestern China. Global Ecology and Conservation 25: e01430.

Reynolds, C. and Luscombe, D. (2008). Trip report: China 2nd – 10 Oct 2008. Unpublished Report. . Bedgebury Pinetum of the UK Forestry Commission, Kent, UK.

Song, Junyang, Zhang, Zetian and Lv, Ruixue. (2021). Study on SFE-CO2 and chemical composition of thuja essential oil. Agronomy Journal.

Tang, C. Q., Yang,  Y., Ohsawa, M. et al. (2015). Community structure and survival of tertiary relict Thuja sutchuenensis (Cupressaceae) in the subtropical Daba mountains, Southwestern China. PLoS One 10: e0125307.

Tao, Tongzhou et al. (In Press, 2023). Conservation Genomic investigation of an endangered conifer, Thuja sutchuenensis, reveals low genetic diversity but also low genetic load. Plant Diversity.

Wade, Ellie Merrett et al. (2016). Plant species with extremely small populations (PSESP) in China: A seed and spore biology perspective. Plant Diversity 38(5): 209-220.

Walter, Kerry S. and Gillett, Harriet J. (eds.). (1998). 1997 IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants. Compiled by the World Conservation Monitoring Centre. Gland, Switzerland & Cambridge, UK: IUCN – The World Conservation Union. lxiv + 862 pp.

Wang, X, Guo, Q, Hao, J., Ma, C. and Wan, Q. (2007). Study on the cone characteristics and seed output of a Critically Endangered plant, Thuja sutchuensis, in the world. Forest Research 20(5): 673-677.

W.C.M.C. (1996). Threatened plant database of the World Conservation Monitoring Centre. W.C.M.C., Cambridge, U.K.

Xia, Changying et al. (2023). Complete mitochondrial genome of Thuja sutchuenensis and its implications on evolutionary analysis of complex mitogenome architecture in Cupressaceae. BMC Plant Biology 23: 84.

Xiang, Qiaoping, Farjon, A., Li Zhenyu, Fu Likuo and Liu Zhengyu. (2002a). Thuja sutchuenensis: a rediscovered species of the Cupressaceae. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 139(3): 305-310. [2nd author incorrectly cited as Fajon]

Xiang QP, Farjon A, Li ZY, Fu LK, Liu ZY. (2002b). Eratum. Thuja sutchuenensis: a rediscovered species of the Cupressaceae. Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 140. (1): 93.

Xiaodong Li. (2009). 3nd interim report of conservation of flagship threatened conifers in China: Thuja sutchuenensis. Wuahn Botanical Garden, Wuhan.

Xie, Liang et al. (2022). Environmental Drivers and Spatial Prediction of the Critically Endangered Species Thuja sutchuenensis in Sichuan-Chongqing, China. Phyton 91(9): 2069-2086.

Yang, Y., Li, N., Christian, T. and Luscombe, D. (2013). Thuja sutchuenensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T32378A2816862. Downloaded on 11 February 2017.

Y.Yang, N.Li, T.Christian and D.Luscombe. (2019). Thuja sutchuenensis, from the website: ‘Threatened Conifers of The World’ ( Downloaded on 17 October 2023.

Z. Yao, X. Wang, K. Wang, et al. (2021). Chloroplast and nuclear genetic diversity explain the limited distribution of endangered and endemic Thuja sutchuenensis in China. Front. Genet. 12: 801229.

Yu, Tao et al. (2020). Chloroplast genome of an extremely endangered conifer Thuja sutchuenensis Franch.: gene organization, comparative and phylogenetic analysis. Physiology and Molecular Biology of Plants. doi: [Abstract]

Zuo, You-wei et al. (2022). Contrasting Responses of Multispatial Soil Fungal Communities of Thuja sutchuenensis Franch., an Extremely Endangered Conifer in Southwestern China. Microbiology Spectrum 10(4).


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