232 N. Perkins Rd.

Common China-fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata)

Cunninghamia lanceolata is a species of evergreen coniferous tree in the cypress family. It is native to south-central and southeast China. They may reach 160 feet in height. In vernacular use, it is sometimes called China-fir, although it is not a fir. The genus name, Cunninghamia, honors Dr. James Cunningham, a British doctor who introduced this species into cultivation in 1702 and botanist Allan Cunningham. The general shape of the tree is conical with tiered, horizontal branches that are often pendulous toward the tips. It bears softly spined, leathery, stiff, green to blue-green needle-like leaves that spiral around the stem with an upward arch. The foliage may turn bronze-tinted in very cold winter weather. The cones are small and inconspicuous at pollination in late winter, the pollen cones in clusters of 10-30 together, the female cones singly or 2-3 together. 

Cunninghamia is a prized timber tree in China, producing soft, highly durable scented wood similar to that of Coast Redwood and Sugi. It is used in particular for manufacture of coffins and in temple building where the scent is valued. It is grown as an ornamental tree in parks and large gardens. 

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