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Chinese fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata) was named after its discoverer, James Cunningham. The name "lanceolata" refers to its lance-shaped, narrow needles. In China it is one of the most important timber tree species, as its wood makes excellent building timber. This hard, aromatic wood is therefore used in the construction of houses, temples, bridges and ships, but also for making coffins. In gardens, the Chinese fir is valued for being an extremely healthy tree.