Herb: Chinese Fir


Latin name: Cunninghamia lanceolata


Synonyms: Cunninghamia sinensis, Pinus lanceolata


Family: Taxodiaceae (Redwood Family)



Medicinal use of Chinese Fir:

Antidote, carminative. A decoction of the wood is used in the treatment of varnish poisoning (from species of Rhus), chronic ulcers, hernia etc. An essential oil from the plant is used to treat bruises, pain, rheumatism and wounds. The ash of the bark is used to treat burns, scalds and wounds. A decoction of the cone is used in the treatment of coughs.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Evergreen
Tree

Height:
15 m
(49 feet)

Flovering:
January
to May


Scent:
Scented
Tree

Habitat of the herb:

Mixed broad-leaved forests, rocky hillsides and roadsides, 200 - 2800 metres in most temperate areas of China. Often forming small, pure stands on red sandstone soils.

Other uses of Chinese Fir:

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. 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. A charcoal can be made from the wood.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - sow late winter in a greenhouse. If the seed does not germinate within 8 weeks then 3 weeks cold stratification may speed up the process. Germination usually takes place in 1 - 6 months at 18C. 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. Division of suckers.

Cultivation of Chinese Fir:

Mixed broad-leaved forests, rocky hillsides and roadsides, 200 - 2800 metres in most temperate areas of China. Often forming small, pure stands on red sandstone soils.

Known hazards of Cunninghamia lanceolata:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.