CUNNINGHAMIA lanceolata 'Samurai'
Plant Common Name
China Fir, Samurai China Fir
This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.
A muscular evergreen conifer, China fir's needled branches are slightly drooping and bear greenish brown cones. Native to China, it has string-like corky bark that is sandy sienna-brown. The mature habit is an upright shape that is rounded to pyramid-like. It is a close relative of the giant redwood (Sequoia).
The dark green glossy needles are narrow and prickly, individually they are lance-shaped with white stripes on their undersides. On the branches the needles lay in a flattened, horizontal plane so they appear somewhat feathery overall. Female and male cones appear in different branches on this tree in early summer. Only the female cones become ornamental green-brown cones that resemble small pendent artichokes. Needles that die tend to cling on the branches, especially in arid regions.
Grow China fir in any moist soil with good drainage and position it so it is sheltered from drying winds. It is quite drought and heat tolerant. To form a specimen tree, select one trunk on young plants and allow that to become the central leader. This plant can be pruned back and allowed to rejuvenate with multiple trunks and dense foliage. It is most beautiful if given ample space to attain an upright, pyramidal tree in the lawn. Lowest branches can be removed to gain visual access to the interesing bark. Selection 'Glauca' has prettier bluish green needles.
AHS Heat Zone
9 - 6
USDA Hardiness Zone
7 - 9
4, 5, 6, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21
Needled or Scaled Evergreen
Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade
35'-70' / 10.7m - 21.3m
16'-30' / 4.9m - 9.1m
Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline
Drought Tolerant, Average Water
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter