Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Cunninghamia lanceolata (Lamb.) Hook.f.

Fully-hardy, evergreen conical tree, developing a rounded top with age, with glossy, irregularly lance-shaped leaves, to 7cm long, with 2 white bands beneath, and ovoid to conical green-brown female cones, to 4cm long.  To 20m.  [RHSE, Hortus, Hilliers’]. 

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘Mr. Salisbury called the genus Belis, a name that has been considered too nearly allied to Bellis, and hence originated that of Cunninghamia, given by Mr. Brown, to commemorate the merits of Mr. James Cunningham, “an excellent observer in his time, by whom this plant was discovered; and in honour of Mr. Alan Cunningham, the very deserving botanist who accompanied Mr. Oxley in his first expedition into the interior of New South Wales, and Capt. King in all his Voyages of Survey of the Coast of New Holland.” […] It was introduced from China to the Royal Gardens at Kew, in 1804.’  [BM t.2743/1827]. 

History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1845, 1850 and 1857 catalogues under the name Cunninghamia lanceolata [C.25/1845].  Araucaria lanceolata was included in brackets in the 1845 edition.  It had probably been grown since before 1843 as it was listed in the 1843 catalogue only under the name Pinus lanceolata.


Published Jan 25, 2009 - 03:13 PM | Last updated Jul 31, 2010 - 04:46 PM

The image shows leaves and male and female cones.  Curtis's botanical Magazine t.2743, 1827.

Cunninghamia lanceolata (Lamb.) Hook.f. | BM t.2743/1827 | BHL

Family Taxodiaceae
Region of origin


  • Cunninghamia sinensis R.Br.
  • Cunninghamia lanceolata (Lamb.) Hook.f. var. sinensis
  • Araucaria lanceolata Hort ex Carrière
  • Pinus lanceolata Lamb. 
Common Name

China fir

Name in the Camden Park Record

Cunninghamia lanceolata – araucaria lanceolata

Pinus lanceolata 

Confidence level high