Chinese Fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata)

C. sinensis. Pinus lanceolata.
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Chinese Fir
Cunninghamia lanceolata

Wood – light, fragrant, durable but rots easily if it is continually wet, easily worked, resists insects damage. Used in construction, ship building etc wherever great strength is required[1, 46, 61, 178]. The wood is strongly resistant to rot, is not eaten by termites, and is easily worked. It is used in constructing buildings, bridges, ships, and lamp posts, in furniture manufacture, and for wood fiber[266]. A charcoal can be made from the wood[178].

  • Medicinal Use

    Antidote, carminative.

    A decoction of the wood is used in the treatment of varnish poisoning (from species of Rhus), chronic ulcers, hernia etc[178, 218].

    An essential oil from the plant is used to treat bruises, pain, rheumatism and wounds[218].

    The ash of the bark is used to treat burns, scalds and wounds[218].

    A decoction of the cone is used in the treatment of coughs[218].

  • Edible Use

    None known

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – sow late winter in a greenhouse[78]. If the seed does not germinate within 8 weeks then 3 weeks cold stratification may speed up the process[164]. Germination usually takes place in 1 – 6 months at 18¡c[164]. When they are 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 into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half ripe wood, 5 – 8cm with a heel, July/August in a frame[78]. Division of suckers[266].
Requires a rich warm soil and a sheltered sunny position[1, 164]. Dislikes soil with free lime otherwise the pH is unimportant[200]. This species is only hardy in the milder areas of Britain according to one report[1] whilst another says that it can tolerate temperatures down to about -25¡c[200]. This figure could be a misprint for -15¡c since the report also says that it is a zone 7 plant[K]. There are trees 25 metres tall in Cornwall and 18 metres tall in Kent[11, 185]. Young trees can make quite rapid growth in height, up to 60cm a year once they have attained more than 1 metre in height[185]. Before reaching the height of 1 metre, however, they are liable to be killed by frost[185]. This is the main re-afforestation tree in China[46, 61]. The most important fast-growing timber tree of the warm regions south of the Chang Jiang valley of China[266]. Unlike most conifers, this species can be coppiced[1]. The bruised foliage emits a delicious resinous aroma[245]. This species is notably resistant to honey fungus[200].
E. Asia – 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.