In Taiwan in winter. This is the only unpruned specimen. fairly commonly grown. The leaf-tips curve upwards. I now think it is likely to be Thuja chinensis possibly 'Globosa'.

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  • If you add a close up of the needle arrangement, can you also add a pic showing several branchlets on a stem, preferably held flat or separately from the other branches if you can - I want to see how each little stem is arranged in respect of the others on the same branchlet... no sign of any cones anywhere I suppose? In the top photo that shows the 'needles', they don't seem to have a flattened appearance, they look rounded round the stem - is that the case?
    – Bamboo
    Jan 27, 2020 at 12:39
  • I will try. the "leaves" are round, not flattened, and branch. Jan 27, 2020 at 12:43
  • Looking at the second image, there are 4 areas showing a bit of red - are they part of the tree or just where something else has dropped and got caught up in the tree?
    – Bamboo
    Jan 27, 2020 at 15:22
  • No red in tree, leaves from elsewhere. no cones, but one tree has terminal buds now. Jan 28, 2020 at 5:05
  • biodiversitylibrary.org/page/19490930#page/218/mode/1up this should help you find it , it mainly includes the descriptions of the the conifers in the UK but you would be surprised what plants have been stolen in the past and brought back Jan 31, 2020 at 10:19

1 Answer 1


From the way the leaves clasp the stem and angle outwards slightly, I think it's most likely to be one of the incense cedars, Libocedrus. There is a Taiwanese native incense cedar called Calocedrus, and the two are often confused, but I think this is actually Libocedrus, most likely L. chevalieri or L. bidwillii. You may be able to detect an incense like scent if you crush the leaves, but that depends on how sensitive your sense of smell is! Further info on Libocedrus here https://www.conifers.org/cu/Libocedrus.php

UPDATE: You have mentioned Thuja sinensis as a possible ID - whilst I agree the two are remarkably similar, I'm not seeing the flattened sprays/branches which Thuja has, so on balance, I still think it's more likely Libocedrus.

  • Not any of the three likely Calocedrus spp, still checking others Jan 28, 2020 at 11:03
  • Of the five species of Libocedrus, it might be bidwillii, very similar. Still checking Jan 28, 2020 at 11:15
  • Not Chamaecyparis formosensis Jan 28, 2020 at 11:25
  • I see why you asked about flat or rounded leaves, not Chamaecyparis taiwanensis. Jan 28, 2020 at 11:43
  • I have changed my question to put most likely answer - not sure if this is appropriate. Jan 28, 2020 at 12:48

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