Description from Flora of China
Myrica nagi Thunberg in Murray, Syst. Veg., ed. 14, 884. 1784; Decussocarpus nagi (Thunberg) de Laubenfels; D. nagi var. formosensis (Dummer) Silba; Nageia formosensis (Dummer) C. N. Page; N. nagi var. formosensis (Dummer) Silba; N. nankoensis (Hayata) R. R. Mill; Podocarpus formosensis Dummer; P. japonicus J. Nelson (1866), not Siebold ex Endlicher (1847); P. koshunensis (Kanehira) Kanehira; P. nageia R. Brown ex Endlicher; P. nagi (Thunberg) Pilger; P. nagi var. koshunensis Kanehira; P. nankoensis Hayata.
Trees or shrubs to 20 m tall; trunk to 50 cm d.b.h.; bark reddish brown, dark purplish red, or light or dark gray, peeling in small, thin flakes; branches and branchlets erect, ascending, spreading, or ± pendulous, grayish to dark brown, slender, semiterete, stout; branchlets opposite, rarely alternate, compressed-tetragonal, rigid, glabrous, densely leafy. Leaves opposite, decussate; petiole strongly twisted at base, rotation continuing along whole length of internode; blade dark green and glossy adaxially, pale green abaxially, ovate-lanceolate, lanceolate, elliptic-lanceolate, or narrowly elliptic, 2-9 × 0.7-3 cm, leathery, parallel veins indistinct, stomatal lines present on abaxial surface only, sometimes scarcely visible, base cuneate or cuneate-attenuate into widened, flattened petiole, apex truncate, broadly obtuse, acute, or acuminate, sometimes blackened. Pollen cones axillary, solitary or in clusters of up to 10, pedunculate or sessile, cylindric, ovoid-cylindric, or subglobose, 0.5-2.5 cm; peduncle (when present) short, thick, with a few basal bracts. Seed-bearing structures axillary, solitary rarely paired; peduncle stout, or slightly thickened only distally, 4.5-13 mm, with several deciduous bracts leaving scars. Receptacle obsolete, consisting of few bracts. Epimatium green with white bloom when young, dark purple with sparser white bloom when ripe. Seed globose to pyriform, 1-1.5 cm in diam., with dense punctiform depressions, base pointed, apex rounded. Pollination Mar-May, seed maturity Aug-Nov. 2n = 26*, 29*.
A broad concept of Nageia nagi is adopted here. However, R. R. Mill indicates that the plants occurring in Taiwan should be treated as two separate species: those from S Taiwan (Hengchun Peninsula area) as N. formosensis, and those from N Taiwan (Nanko, Tanshui) as N. nankoensis. The taxonomy of this group of taxa is still not fully understood; field observations and cultivation experiments would be desirable.
The wood is used for constructing houses and bridges, making furniture, utensils, and handicraft articles. The seeds yield an edible oil which is also used in industry.
Evergreen broad-leaved and Quercus forests, forests on dry mountainsides, thickets, along streams; 200-1200(-1600) m. Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, Hunan, Jiangxi, Sichuan, Taiwan, Zhejiang; also cultivated as an ornamental [Japan (including Ryukyu Islands)]