Common Name: 

One or two species of conifers, tall evergreen trees having narrow crowns and branches irregularly in whorls.  Leaves narrow, stiff, leathery, sharply pointed, spirally arranged but 2 ranked.  Female flower terminal in somewhat spherical cones.   Two species were once recognized, Cunninghamia lanceolata and C. konishii, often referred to as the China-fir and the Taiwan-fir.  Molecular genetic evidence suggests that they may be the same species, and that C. konishii of Taiwan derive from multiple colorizations from the mainland.  The Taiwan-fir is now referred to as Cunninghamia lanceolata var. konishii.

Cunninghamia: after James Cunningham (he spelled his name Cuninghame), a surgeon/botanist.  In 1698 he was sent to China by the East India Co.  "He was the first Englishman [actually a Scotsman] to make botanical collections in China" (Dictonary of National Biography).  He sent over 600 Chinese botanical specimens to Britain.  He discovered C. lanceolata in 1701.