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Toona sinensis - Chinese Cedar

Family:Meliaceae
Habit:Tree
Height:20
Width:8
Synonyms:Ailanthus flavescens. Cedrella sinensis. Juss.
Range:E. Asia - N. and W. China.
Toona sinensis (Chinese Cedar) is a Tree which grows to a height of 20m and a width of 8m . It has a fast growth rate. It has a hardness rating of 5and is quite resiliant to frost.
Chinese Cedar will flower in January. The flowers from this plant are hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and they are pollinated by Insects

Soil Information

Chinese Cedar will grow in light (sandy),medium (loamy),hard (clay) soil. It is / is important for the soil to be well drained.
The soil prefers the following PH / acid levels :
- pH of less than 6, Acidic soils
- pH between 6 and 8, Neutral soils
- pH greater than 8, Basic soils
Chinese Cedar prefers moist soils

Ideal Planting Locations

Chinese Cedar should not be planted in shady areas.

Woodland[109].

Planting places suited to this plant described below.

Cultivation Details

Thrives in most fertile well-drained soils in a sunny position[200]. Prefers a rich loamy soil[1], growing well on calcareous soils[11]. The fully dormant tree is hardy to about -25c[200], though the young growth in spring can be damaged by late frosts. The tree is fast growing[200] and is said to resist all insects and diseases[160]. It is also long-lived[245]. A very ornamental tree[1], the flowers diffuse a powerfully rich scent[245]. It is cultivated in China for its edible leaves[109].

Edible Uses*

* See disclaimer
Edible Rating: 3/5
Young shoots and leaves - cooked[11, 105, 177, 183]. This is a highly esteemed food in China[109], it is said to resemble onions in flavour and is usually boiled. Rich in vitamin A, the leaves also contain about 6% protein, 1% fat, 6.6% carbohydrate, 1.5% ash[179]. The leaves can be used as a tea substitute[183]. Fruit[177, 183] . No further details are given.

Medicinal Uses*

* See disclaimer
Medicinal Rating: 2/5
The bark is astringent, carminative, febrifuge, ophthalmic and styptic[147, 178]. A decoction is used in the treatment of diarrhoea, chronic dysentery, flatulence, bloody stools, seminal emissions, leucorrhoea,, metrorrhagia and gonorrhoea[147].

Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame[200]. Stored seed germinates better if given a 3 month cold stratification[113]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer and consider giving them some protection from the cold in their first winter outdoors. Root cuttings, 4 - 5cm long, taken in December and potted up horizontally in pots in a greenhouse[78].

Scented parts of the plants

Flowers : FreshStem : Dried

Known Hazards

None known

Other Uses

Wood - very durable, easily worked, takes a good polish. It is a very valuable timber, resembling mahogany, and is used for making furniture, window frames etc[109, 178]. The wood is delicately scented and is burnt in temples as an incense[245].

Cultivars

no recorded cultivars

References

Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Bean. W.
Author: Bean. W.
Rating:
Publisher : A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
Date of Publication : 1981

Plantae Wilsonae.
Wilson. E. H.
Author: Wilson. E. H.
Rating:
Publisher : Details of the palnts collected by the plant collector E. H. Wilson on his travels in China. Gives some habitats. Not for the casual reader.
Date of Publication :

The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Huxley. A.
Author: Huxley. A.
Rating:
Publisher : Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
Date of Publication : 1992

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