CHINA FIR

FAMILY: Cupressaceae | GENUS: CUNNINGHAMIA lanceolata

TYPE
  • Evergreen
  • Trees
SUN EXPOSURE
  • Full Sun
WATER
  • Regular Water
PLANTING ZONES
  • MS (Middle South) / Zone 7
  • LS (Lower South) / Zone 8
  • CS (Coastal South) / Zone 9

Plant Details

This picturesque conifer from China has a heavy trunk; stout, whorled branches; and droop- ing branchlets. It grows at a moderate rate to 30 ft. tall with 20-ft. spread. Stiff, needlelike, sharp-pointed leaves are 12 in. long, green above and whitish beneath. Its brown, 1- to 2-in. cones are interesting but not profuse. Among palest of needled evergreens in spring and summer, China fir turns red- bronze in cold winters. Needs protection from hot, dry wind in summer and cold wind in winter. Becomes less attractive as it ages. Branches with dead needles persist, giving tree an unkempt look. Prune them out. 'Glauca', with striking gray-blue foliage, is more widely grown and hardier than the species. The dwarf 'Little Leo' slowly forms a flattened mound of bright green foliage that turns bronze to purple in winter.

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