Chinese scientists have discovered a new group of 31 cathaya argyrophylla, a type of ancient pine tree that has been around since the Tertiary period, in a nature reserve in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region recently.
The discovery of the first group of 1,040 cathaya argyrophylla trees in Huaping Nature Reserve in Sanmen, a town in Longshen Gezu Autonomous County, in 1955 stunned botanists around the globe.
The recently-discovered cathaya argyrophylla trees include two trees taller than five meters: one is 11.2 meters tall and the other 6.3 meters tall.
Twenty-nine of the group is lower than five meters and four trees are dead.
These trees are found in a 500-square meter mountainous area, with a grade of 50 to 80 degrees in the state-level Huaping Nature Reserve, which is also home to other rare plants such as yew and pinus parviflora, a kind of pine tree with acerose leaves. More than 600 species of wild animals including bear, leopard, monkey and giant salamander also live in the nature reserve.
Cathaya argyrophylla trees, a rare plant species unique to China, is an evergreen and can grow 10 to 20 meters, with a trunk diameter of about 40 cm and some even 85 cm. This kind of trees mainly grow in mountainous areas with an elevation of 1,400 to 1,600 meters. They are found in Guangxi and provinces of Hunan, Sichuan and Guizhou in southwest China.
As an ancient plant species, cathaya argyrophylla trees is of high scientific value in the botany study in China, according to experts.