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Toona sinensis - (A.Juss.)M.Roem.

Common Name Chinese Cedar
Family Meliaceae
USDA hardiness 6-11
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Woodland[109].
Range E. Asia - China, northern India, Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, Indonesia.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Full sun
Toona sinensis Chinese Cedar

Toona sinensis Chinese Cedar


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of lolypop
Toona sinensis is a deciduous Tree growing to 20 m (65ft) by 8 m (26ft) at a fast rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower in July. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Ailanthus flavescens. Cedrella sinensis. Juss.

Plant Habitats

Woodland Garden Canopy; Sunny Edge;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit  Leaves  Shoots
Edible Uses: Tea

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.

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Astringent  Carminative  Dysentery  Febrifuge  Ophthalmic  Styptic

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].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

The Bookshop: Edible Plant Books

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Other Uses

Incense  Wood

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].

Special Uses

Food Forest  Scented Plants

References   More on Other Uses

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 -25°c[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]. The plant is heat tolerant in zones 12 through 10. (Plant Hardiness Zones show how well plants withstand cold winter temperatures. Plant Heat Zones show when plants would start suffering from the heat. The Plant Heat Zone map is based on the number of "heat days" experienced in a given area where the temperature climbs to over 86 degrees F (30°C). At this temperature, many plants begin to suffer physiological damage. Heat Zones range from 1 (no heat days) to 12 (210 or more heat days). For example Heat Zone. 11-1 indicates that the plant is heat tolerant in zones 11 through 1.) For polyculture design as well as the above-ground architecture (form - tree, shrub etc. and size shown above) information on the habit and root pattern is also useful and given here if available. A sprouting standard sending up shoots from the base [1-2]. The root pattern is suckering with new plants from underground runners away from the plant [1-2].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

Type a value in the Celsius field to convert the value to Fahrenheit:



The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees,Edible Shrubs, Woodland Gardening, and Temperate Food Forest Plants. Our new book is Food Forest Plants For Hotter Conditions (Tropical and Sub-Tropical).

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Plant 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].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Kuruk, Mahaneem, Mahanim, Malarveppu, Mandurike, Mathagiri, Moulmein cedar, Nandichettu, Nandivriksha, Poma, Santhanavembu, Tawtama, Thevatharam, Todu, Tun, Tundu, Tuni, Tunna, Tunumaram, kinesisk toon, red toon, suren, xiang chun.

Africa, Asia, Australia, China, East Africa, Himalayas, India, Indochina, Indonesia, Laos, Malawi, Malaysia, Mozambique, Papua New Guinea, PNG, SE Asia, South Africa, Southern Africa, Swaziland, Thailand, Zambia, Zimbabwe,

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Toona ciliataMountain Cedar, Australian Red Cedar, ToonaTree30.0 9-12 FMHFSNMWe224
Toona sureniSurenTree35.0 9-12 FMHNM224

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


Expert comment

Toona sinensis

Administrator .

Jan 8 2011 12:00AM

I have a Toon that is about 15 years old and has been growing in almost complete summer shade, maybe 5% dappled sunlight, for about five years, with no sign of dying. I live on the west coast outside of Vancouver, B.C. Will provide update this summer.



Botanical References


Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

Readers comment

Jonathan Lee   Wed Dec 1 13:58:47 2004

Dear Sirs:

Please kindly go to www.avrdc.org and search the PUBLICATIONS for annual research reports and download REPORT 2003; then read page 117 to 119. You will find somthing new about Cedrela sinensis.

We are planter, manufacturer and exporter of Cedrela sinensis. We are now promoting Cedrela sinensis Tea for international market. If you find any party who is intereted in this line please kindly recommend us to him.

Thank you, we remain,

Sincerely yours,

Jonathan Lee

Beon International, Inc. No. 10, Lane 118 Minchuan West Road Taipei, Taiwan 103 Tel: (886-2)25574388, 25531740 Fax: (886-2)25574980 E-Mail: [email protected]

Rommel Sauerbronn   Mon Jul 19 00:45:41 2004

I would like to receive seeds of Toona sinensis. Thanks Rommel Sauerbronn

Elaine Chittenden   Fri May 5 2006

Reference #1 is Chittenden, not Chittendon Thanks for the nice site!

yayat hidayat   Wed May 17 2006

Dear sir, I hape a spesimen Toona spp. Acoording "Herbarieun Bogoriensis isntitute" in Indonesia that is toona sinensis. But the charateristic differ from yours. I wouldlike you send me a fotograph about mhorfology 0f leaf, flower and fruit of Toona sinensis. Thanks alot. Sincerely yours Yayat Hidayat Email : [email protected]

Song Lu   Sat Jun 3 2006

Dear Sirs, Can you let me know where can I get some seeds or trees of Toona sinensis? I would great appreciate. My eamil is [email protected]

Bjarne Dinesen   Mon Jul 31 2006

asperupgaard Photos of flowering Cedrela/Toona sinensis in Denmark

Johnny   Mon Sep 18 2006

After mass media reporting that it has anti cancer and antioxidant therapeutic property, Toona Sinensis tree has been widely cultivated, packaged and sell commercially in various forms in Taiwan. and this was happened only in recent years, although it was widely used as culinary herb in northern China traditionally.

maysaroh nasution   Mon Oct 30 2006

my name is Maysaroh nasution. My collage at North Sumatera University. My reaserch about Toona sinensis but i don't have much information about it. so, i need article or information about suren. maybe you can help me. My E-mail : [email protected] thankyou for yaur attention.

Susie   Thu Oct 23 2008

Dear Friends, Where can I buy lots of Toona sinensis seeds? if any one who have some ideas, write me back at [email protected] Thanks Susie

Jerry Hensley   Sat Dec 27 2008

want to buy the toona sinensis tree, that the leves can be eaten,

urb   Mon Jul 6 2009

I've been growing Toona sinensis for a few years in the Pacific Northwest. It grows well and is fully hardy; the shoots and leaves have an excellent flavour, the variety "north red" in particular. Easy from seed, fairly fast growing.

this is the page of B & T world seeds where you can order Toona seeds.   May 13 2012 12:00AM

You can find Toona sinsensis seeds at B & T world seeds. My friend found this species when researching the ecosystem where most ornamental horticultural plants grown here in the Pacific Northwest are from, searching through the ethnobotanical lists. Here is the website where you can order the seeds: http://b-and-t-world-seeds.com/carth.asp?species=Toona%20sinensis&sref=543
B & T World Seeds

   Mar 7 2014 12:00AM

New leaves sprouts as red. They can be picked, salted and preserved - after a few weeks, you can dice them and mix them in with scrambled eggs. More advanced chefs can also dice them, mix them with "thousand year eggs," and form tofu for a nice summer Chinese salad. They can also be dried without the salt and crumbled (like oregeno) in the same way but you lose a flavor versus the salted version. If you have one growing, new sprouts spring up around the tree so look around to see if you see a new tree growing - then carefully did it up and place in planter. The tree is pretty hardy. I had one entire tree split in half from winds and I figured it was dead but when springtime rolled around (I'm in Cali), branches and leaves sprout up everywhere around the break so it might look dead but it's hardy.

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