Eucommia ulmoides Oliv. (1890:1950)

du-zhong, dùzhòng, Hardy rubber tree, Gutta-percha tree



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Eucommia ulmoides var. yunnanensis H.Lév. in Cat. Pl. Yun-Nan: 174 (1916)


Conservation Status

Extinct in the wild or rediscovered in the wild


Just like the Ginkgo/Maidenhair tree (Ginkgo biloba), this Chinese species from a monotypic family has been managed for centuries if not millennia for medicinal/economic purposes so that semi-wild populations exist (Zhang et al., 2013), and "distinguishing between wild, semi-wild and cultivated individuals can be difficult" (Rivers, 2018). It was suggested in the late 1980's that the species may now be extinct in the wild (Mabberley, 1989; fide Zhang et al., 2013), and Arnold Arboretum staff have not seen the species in the wild during their searches in recent years (Richardson, 2020), but wild populations have been reported to exist (Rivers, 2018; Wang et al., 2023).





Biology & Ecology










Original scientific description:

Oliv., Hooker's Icon. Pl. 20: t. 1950 (1890)


Other references:

Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection. (2013). The Red List of Chinese Biodiversity – Higher plants.

Cronquist, A. (1981). An integrated system of classification of flowering plants. New York: Columbia University Press.

Du, H. Y. (2014). China Eucommia Pictorial; China Forestry Publishing House: Beijing, China.

Du, H. Y., Hu, W. Z. and Yu, R. (2015). The Report on Development of China’s Eucommia Rubber Resources and Industry (2014–2015); Social Sciences Academic Press: Beijing, China.

Li, H. G., Jia, H. Y., Li, W. Z., Du, H. Y., Wuyun, T. N., Liu, P. F. and Bao, W. Q. (2018). Genetic diversity and genetic structure of Eucommia ulmoides populations based on SSR markers. J. Cent. South Univ. For. Technol. 38: 79-85, 120.

Li, Wenqing et al. (2023). Diversity and conservation of higher plants in Northwest Yunnan-Southeast Tibet. Global Ecology and Conservation 42: e02396.

Li-kuo, F. and Jian-ming, J. (1992). China Plant Red Data Book – Rare and Endangered Plants 1. Science Press, Beijing.

Mabberley, D. J. (1989). The Plant Book. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Mengjun, Sun, Zhenghai, Chen, Weisong, Weng, Shundong, Ying and Qun, Du. (2001). New records on the distribution of the rare and endangered plants in Zhejiang. Journal of Zhejiang Forestry Science and Technology 21(4): 7-10. [Abstract]

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.

Qin, H., Yang, Y., Dong, S., He, Q., Jia, Y, Zhao, L., Yu, S., Liu, H., Liu B., Yan, Y., Xiang, J., Xia, N., Peng, H., Li, Z., Zhang, Z., He, X., Yin, L., Lin Y., Liu, Q., Hou, Y., Liu, Y., Liu, Q., Cao, W., Li, J., Hen, S., Jin, X., Gao, T., Chen, W., Ma ,H., Geng, Y., Jin, X., Chang, C., Jiang, H.,Cai, L., Zang, C., Wu, J., Ye, J., Lai, Y., Liu, B., Lin, Q. and Xue, N. 2017. Threatened Species List of China's Higher Plants. Biodiveristy Science 25(7): 696-744.

Richardson, Kathryn. (2020). Promise of Bark: Eucommia ulmoides. Arnoldia 77(3): 40.

Rivers, M. C. (2018). Eucommia ulmoides. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T31280A130694949. Accessed on 04 October 2023.

Wang, Chaochun, Gong, Huimin, Feng, Miao and Tian, Chunlian. (2023). Phenotypic Variation in Leaf, Fruit and Seed Traits in Natural Populations of Eucommia ulmoides, a Relict Chinese Endemic Tree. Forests 14(3): 462.

Yao, X., Deng, J. and Huang, H. (2012). Genetic diversity in Eucommia ulmoides (Eucommiaceae), an endangered traditional Chinese medicinal plant. Conservation Genetics 13(6): 1499-1507.

Zhang, J., Xing, C., Tian, H. and Yao, X. (2013). Microsatellite genetic variation in the Chinese endemic Eucommia ulmoides (Eucommiaceae): implications for conservation. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 173(4): 775-785.

Zhang, Z., Zhang, H. and Turland, N. J. (2003). Eucommiaceae. In: Flora of China Editorial Committee, ed. Flora of China, vol. 9. Beijing: Science Press, 49.

Zhou, Z. X. (1980). Eucommia Ulmoides. Guizhou, China: Guizhou People’s Press.


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