In the second edition of Flora of Taiwan 1 (1994), as well as in a horticultural compilation (Tripp 1995) this taxon was treated at species rank. In Flora of China Vol. 4 (1999) it is treated as a variety under C. sinensis. The morphology of these species is rather similar, but evidence from DNA appears to point to a closer affinity with the Japanese species C. harringtonii. This classification, first proposed by the Japanese botanist Siro Kitamura, is here accepted as the most likely true reflection of relationships.
Rare in cultivation and probably restricted to a few botanic gardens.