Common Chinafir

(Cunninghamia lanceolata) Tree is pyramidal with slightly pendulous branches, giving the appearance of an exotic looking tree, often rather ragged. Leaves are evergreen, spirally arranged, those on the main axis standing out from all around the stem. Those on the underside of the branches turning upwards by a basal twist so that all appear to spring from the sides and surface of the shoot. Leaves curve inwards (1to 2-3/4 " long, 1/16 to 1/8 " wide ) at the base. Leaf color is bright green or glaucous to bluish green, often discoloring in cold weather to a bronze green. Dead leaves or needles cling to branches for up to several years. Cones are usually several together, rarely solitary, globose, ovoid, 1-1/2" broad. Highly prized tree in China. Wood is light, soft, fragrant, pale yellow or almost white, easily worked, and used for house building, indoor carpentry, masts, box making.

Colonial history and Civil War history: Sherwood Forest Plantation, near Williamsburg, Va.