Chinese Cedar (Toona sinensis)

Ailanthus flavescens. Cedrella sinensis. Juss.
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Chinese Cedar
Toona sinensis

Wood – very durable, easily worked, takes a good polish. It is a very valuable timber, resembling mahogany, and is used for making furniture, window frames etc[109, 178].

The wood is delicately scented and is burnt in temples as an incense[245].

  • Medicinal Use

    The bark is astringent, carminative, febrifuge, ophthalmic and styptic[147, 178]. A decoction is used in the treatment of diarrhoea, chronic dysentery, flatulence, bloody stools, seminal emissions, leucorrhoea,, metrorrhagia and gonorrhoea[147].

  • Edible Use

    Young shoots and leaves – cooked[11, 105, 177, 183]. This is a highly esteemed food in China[109], it is said to resemble onions in flavour and is usually boiled. Rich in vitamin A, the leaves also contain about 6% protein, 1% fat, 6.6% carbohydrate, 1.5% ash[179].

    The leaves can be used as a tea substitute[183].

    Fruit[177, 183] . No further details are given.

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame[200]. Stored seed germinates better if given a 3 month cold stratification[113]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer and consider giving them some protection from the cold in their first winter outdoors. Root cuttings, 4 – 5cm long, taken in December and potted up horizontally in pots in a greenhouse[78].
Thrives in most fertile well-drained soils in a sunny position[200]. Prefers a rich loamy soil[1], growing well on calcareous soils[11]. The fully dormant tree is hardy to about -25¡c[200], though the young growth in spring can be damaged by late frosts. The tree is fast growing[200] and is said to resist all insects and diseases[160]. It is also long-lived[245]. A very ornamental tree[1], the flowers diffuse a powerfully rich scent[245]. It is cultivated in China for its edible leaves[109].
E. Asia – N. and W. China.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.