Pinus cernua L.K. Phan ex Aver., K.S. Nguyen & T.H. Nguyen


A recently described five needle pine, currently only known from a small area of northwestern Vietnam. It is threatened by selective felling but has not yet been evaluated for the IUCN's Redlist. It is likely to be assessed as Critically Endangered due to its very restricted distribution and an ongoing decline.

Associated Names:


A medium to large tree up to 35 meters in height with a bole up to 1 meter in diameter. Needles in fascicles of five, slightly twisted, 15-22 cm long, drooping. Cones in whorls of 2-6, 8-11 cm long and 5-7 cm in diameter.


Currently, this species is only known from the Pha Luong Mountains along the border of Houaphan (Lao PDR) and Son La (Việt Nam). Several surveys have been undertaken on the Vietnamese side and have found 12 localities within a small area. Surveys on the Lao side are needed.

Habitat and Ecology

Generally restricted to coniferous and evergreen forets on steep slopes and ridges on sandstone outcrops at altitudes ranging fron 900 to 1800 meters above sea level. Fokienia hodginsii, Dacrycarpus imbricatus and Podocarpus neriifolius also occur in this area

Human Uses

Timber is used for local construction.

Conservation Status

The extent of occurrence is estimated to be less than 100 km² with an area of occupancy considerably less. Twelve localities are currently known but these are within 2 km of each other. Logging is an issue as are uncontrolled fires associated with deforestation. An global assessment of Critically Endangered under B1ab (iii,iv) would be appropriate based on current knowledge.

Conservation Actions

The majority of the stands are located within the Xuan Nha Nature Reserve. PanNature, a Vietnamese NGO has initiated a community based conservation programme that involves, amongst other things, seed collecting, cultivation and the reinforcement of existng stands. Surveys on the Lao PDR side of the border should be undertaken as soon as possible.