Monday, January 18, 2010

Fujian Cypress

Fokiena hodginsonii

A very rare, slow to medium-growing, elegant, pyramidal, very large, evergreen tree, reaching up to 70 feet or more, that is native from southern China to Vietnam. Some records include: 4 years - 6 feet; 5 years - 8 feet; 15 years - 17 feet; largest on record - 126 feet with a trunk diameter of 7 feet. These trees look somewhat like a cross between the Incense Cedar and the Monterey Cypress.
The foliage resembles that of Thuja - Arborvitae. The delicate scale-like foliage borne on flattened sprays is glossy bright green above, white beneath.
The smooth bark is red-brown. The wood is valuable for the making of furniture.
Hardy zones 7 to 9 ( possibly hardier though there is no verifiable data ) in sun or shade on just about any moist, well drained soil. It thrives in the hot humid summers of the southeastern U.S. and is drought tolerant.
In cold climates where it will not grow, it still makes a great atrium plant.

* small seedling - photo taken on Feb 2009 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.

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