Cunninghamia konishii Hayata

Commemorating James Cunningham, a surgeon with the East India Company who collected many botanical specimens from China in the years 1698-1702.

A medium sized tree. Leaves stiff. leathery, crowded, narrow-pointed, curved forwards, mostly less than on adult trees scale-like, less than 6 mm long. Cones not seen but purportedly smaller than those of c. lanceolata.

Relatively recently introduced and available in the nursery trade; no mature trees known. As both species are fairly similar in the juvenile phase the distinction between this and C. lanceolata is not clear in cultivated specimens.

Taiwan where it grows naturally at alt. c. 1300-2000 m in Chamaecyparis forest or occasionally with pine trees.

This species is said to differ from C. lanceolata by its relatively short leaves, especially on the coning shoots, small cones c. 2 cm long and 2.5 cm wide, and stomatal bands on both surfaces (although clearer below). However, mature specimens need careful identification and may be C. lanceolata. Occasionally offered in the nursery trade.

TAS: Hobart (Royal Tasmanian Bot. Gds).

Source: Spencer, R. (1995). Taxodiaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 1, Ferns, conifers & their allies. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

Distribution map

Cunninghamia konishii 'Coolwyn Compact'

Small, compact, dark green growing to c. 60 cm wide and 45 cm high in 10 years. Originated Leo Koelewyn as a selection from a seed batch and introduced c. 1993.

Cunninghamia konishii 'Little Leo'

More compact than 'Coolwyn Compact' and with shorter needles, growing to about 30 cm wide in 10 years. Originated Leo Koelewyn as a selection from a seed batch and introduced c. 1993.

kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Pinopsida
order     Pinales
family      Taxodiaceae
genus       Cunninghamia R.Br.