Cunninghamia, China-fir, China Fir

Cunninghamia lanceolata

Family: Cupressaceae (koo-press-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Cunninghamia (kun-ning-HAM-mee-uh) (Info)
Species: lanceolata (lan-see-oh-LAY-tuh) (Info)



Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


over 40 ft. (12 m)


20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

30-40 ft. (9-12 m)

over 40 ft. (12 m)


USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:



Grown for foliage



Provides winter interest

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:


Atmore, Alabama

Gadsden, Alabama

Bigelow, Arkansas

Savannah, Georgia

Clermont, Kentucky

Louisville, Kentucky

Versailles, Kentucky

Independence, Louisiana

Poplarville, Mississippi

Saint Louis, Missouri

Absecon, New Jersey

Fairport, New York

Cincinnati, Ohio

Cottage Grove, Oregon

Souderton, Pennsylvania

Conway, South Carolina

Cookeville, Tennessee

Gallatin, Tennessee

Sevierville, Tennessee

Belfair, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 16, 2013, suentommy from Souderton, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

I have this and a glauca , each about 30 feet tall. They are really pretty trees most of the year, though they do tend to hang on to dead needles. I also have a Monkey Puzzle tree, which is only a few years old and about 5 feet tall. My husband likes the look of the trees, especially this variety but he complains about the sharp needles of all three trees when he cuts the grass. I like the glauca but he feels it is unnaturally blue and hard to blend in in our area. They can be scratchy and are best planted in the background, not where anyone ever walks.


On May 6, 2010, runnow from Sevierville, TN wrote:

This plant appears much more suited to the Southeast than many other conifers. A tough spiny tree with
a distinctive appearence which is used for forestry in south
China. If cut down it can regrow from the roots unlike many other conifers. Probably should not be planted next your
house since it can be a fire hazard.


On Dec 7, 2009, escambiaguy from Atmore, AL (Zone 8b) wrote:

China Fir grows well here in south Alabama. They look better in good soil with plenty of moisture, the ones planted in drier soil seem to have some dieback. For a tall slender tree they seem to hold up well to hurricane force winds.


On Dec 18, 2008, Lakeside3 from Jacksonville, NC wrote:

Planted in zone 8, located in southwest part of garden, recieves part shade evening evening. Lemon-Lime in color during spring through summer then becomes bronze in the fall through the winter. Photo of both seasonal colors posted!


On May 21, 2006, sladeofsky from Louisville, KY (Zone 6b) wrote:

Warning: Do not propogate this plant by taking cuttings from side branches. Otherwise your tree will produce no leader and have terrible form. Unfortunately few suppliers realize this and are responsible for distributing some very floppy plants. Best grown from seed, or cuttings taken from upright suckers. "Samurai" is glaucus and the most garden worthy form.


On Aug 24, 2003, bobanddogs from Cookeville, TN wrote:

There is also a blue form "Glauca" which is a striking plant with the same drooping but upright appearance of the green form of the species.


On Jul 14, 2003, gonedutch from Fairport, NY wrote:

This is an attractive specimen plant and always solicits comments from visitors to the garden. The end of its leaf contains a vicious stiff needle point, so warn the children.

It is a slow grower and is susceptible to leaf burn after prolonged hard frost and wind. However, new green growth soon overcomes the resulting brown foliage.