Herb: Chinese Cedar

Latin name: Toona sinensis

Synonyms: Ailanthus flavescens, Cedrella sinensis

Family: Meliaceae (Mahogany Family)

Medicinal use of Chinese Cedar:

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

Description of the plant:


20 m
(66 feet)



Habitat of the herb:


Edible parts of Chinese Cedar:

Young shoots and leaves - cooked. This is a highly esteemed food in China, 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. The leaves can be used as a tea substitute. Fruit . No further details are given.

Other uses of the herb:

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

Propagation of Chinese Cedar:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Stored seed germinates better if given a 3 month cold stratification. 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.

Cultivation of the herb:


Known hazards of Toona sinensis:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.