Synopsis of Camphora (Cinnamomeae, Lauraceae) of Taiwan, with two new combinations and one new synonym

Kuo-Fang Chung, Chia-Lun Hsieh

Published on: 06 September 2023

Page: 384 - 390

DOI: 10.6165/tai.2023.68.384


Cinnamomum kanahirae (Cinnamomum sect. Camphora) is an ecologically and economically important tree species endemic to Taiwan best known as the sole host plant of the highly valued medicinal mushroom ‘niu-chang-chih’ (Taiwanofungus camphoratus). Although C. kanahirae had been synonymized under C. micranthum, studies of fruit morphology, essential oil contents, allozyme profiles, and plastome phylogenomics have demonstrated that the two species are different. However, in a recent study that transferred all species of Cinnamomum sect. Camphora to the restored genus Camphora based on phylogenetics and macro- and micromorphology, C. kanahirae was regarded as conspecific with C. micranthum and thus was treated as a synonym of Camphora micrantha. Additionally, C. camphora var. nominale, an ecologically and genetically distinct variety long recognized in Taiwan, was also synonymized under Camphora officinarum. On the other hand, Machilus philippinensis was thought to be Cinnamomum philippinense and thus erroneously transferred to Camphora (i.e., Camphora philippinensis). To rectify these taxonomic oversights, two new combinations Camphora kanahirae comb. nov. and Camphora officinarum var. nominale comb. nov. are proposed and Camphora philippinensis is treated as a syn. nov. of Machilus philippinensis for effective conservation and sustainable utilization of these valuable tree species in Taiwan.

Keyword: Cinnamomum sect. Camphora, stout camphor tree, Catalogue of Life in Taiwan (TaiCOL)

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