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Cunninghamia lanceolata, photo courtesy of Mark Turner
Cunninghamia lanceolata, photo courtesy of Mark Turner

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Zone
Zones 4-6, 14-21
Full Sun
Full
Regular Water
Moderate

Cunninghamia lanceolata

China Fir
Cupressaceae
Evergreen, Trees

This picturesque conifer from China has a heavy trunk; stout, whorled branches; and drooping branchlets. It grows at a moderate rate to 30 ft. tall with 20-ft. spread. Stiff, needlelike, sharp-pointed leaves are 1 1/2–2 1/2 in.long, green above and whitish beneath. Its brown, 1–2-in. cones are interesting but not profuse. Among palest of needled evergreens in spring and summer, China fir turns red-bronze in cold winters. –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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