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CRYPTOMERIA
Temple Cedar


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Japonica
Japanese Temple Cedar


In the genus Cryptomeria there is only one species and that is C. japonica or Japanese Temple Cedar. It occurs natively in Japan; in Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu, and also in China at 500 to 6000 feet elevation. It was discovered by Kaempfer in Japan in 1692 and by Cunningham in China in 1701. It was introduced into England first in 1842 by Sir Edward Hume (all specimens died) and again in 1844 from China By R. Fortune and again in 1879 from Japan by Maries (Veitch Nursery). It is a conical tree 40-60 meters (130-190 feet) tall with cinnamon-red brown bark that peels in long thin strips. The branches are outspread or ascending and have sickle-shaped needles that are dark green. In Japan this species is an important tree for timber production and the dwarf cultivars are very popular for use as ornamentals. We currently are growing 8 cultivars and all need some protection from the cold dry winter winds in colder climates.

Dwarf
Pyramidal
Zone 5
'BLACK DRAGON' This is a nice compact grower. The habit is pyramidal with a nice deep green foliage in the spring turning darker during the summer. Prefers full sun. A recent introduction.

Miniature
Globose
Zone 5
'COMPRESSA' This cultivar was introduced by J. Blaauw & Co., Boskoop, Netherlands in 1949. It has a nice compact and tidy globose form. The tight dense foliage is a nice blue-green in summer turning to a bright pink-red-bronze in the winter. It is very slow growing and will only grow about 1" per year. A fantastic selection for the patio garden.

Dwarf
Mounding
Zone 5
'ELEGANS NANA' This is a low spreading Cryptomeria with a dense habit. The color is a rich blue-green in summer and the typical bronze coloration in winter. Hardier than most of the Cryptomerias.

Miniature
Globose
Zone 6
'GLOBOSA' This very nice selection has a superb globose habit that is slightly wider than high and not over five foot high. It is quite hardy and has a very neat, uniform appearance with blue-green foliage. It was introduced into the trade in 1942 and developed by P. Lombarts of Zundert, Holland.
To see a larger photo (47k) click on small one.

Intermediate
Upright
Zone 5
'LOBBI NANA' Temple Cedar. This dwarf, pyramidal variety is compact and densely branched. It is covered with glossy dark green foliage. This selection is a tree and not a dwarf shrub. The height will be about 6-7' in ten years.

Miniature
Globose
Zone 6
NANA' The Dwarf Japanese Cedar is a dwarf rounded form that has dark green needle-like leaves in summer turning a copper bronze in winter. This could be C. japonica 'Pygmea. It was imported from China to England somewhere around 1846. H:2' W:2'

Intermediate
Upright
Zone 6
'SEKKAN SUGI' This nice upright selection with gold to chartreuse-green foliage that weeps on the ends is a great tree. It will make a great specimen plant or screen. It should be grown in full sun for best color and protect it from strong wind in winter. Introduced by F. J. Grootendorst.
To see a larger photo (30k) click on small one.

Dwarf
Pryamidal
Zone 6
'SPIRALIS' It has broadly pyramidal habit when mature and yet it is prostrate when young. The foliage is tightly twisted around the branchlets and is bright green. It looks like a piece of spiral pasta called fusilli. An excellent ornamental that was imported to Holland from Japan around 1800. Partial shade is best.
To see a larger photo (37k) click on small one.

Miniature
Globose
Zone 6
'TENSAN' This is one of the smallest Cryptomeria I have ever seen. It is a very diminutive bun-shaped plant with light green very short needles. It will only grow about � inch per year.

Miniature
Globose
Zone 6
VILMORINIANA' This little globular shrub with a rich green tightly held bundle of compacted foliage makes an excellent rockery conifer. It also works very well in decorative patio planters. It will grow nicely in either sun or partial shade. Introduced in 1890 from Japan by Vilmorin. The size in ten years should be around 20" high and 15" wide.
To see a larger photo (41k) click on small one.

Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Gold Medal Plant Award
Large
Upright
Zone 5
'YOSHINO' Excellent choice. This variety was selected as one of the top plants by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. This is one of the faster growing Japanese Cedars and it has a nice columnar growth habit. Excellent for a screen or tall hedge or as a specimen. It has survived -9 degree temperatures in New Jersey in containers with no problem.

Please prune the dwarf Blue Spruce to return to the top.

�1997-2009
All rights reserved.
All photos copyright by Jim Smith and may not be used in any manner without the authors written consent.
372 Seeley-Cohansey Rd Bridgeton, NJ 08302
856.451.2259    
fax: 856.451.2442





GROWTH
PER YEAR


Miniature........
less than 3"

Dwarf............
3-6"

Intermediate.....
6-12"

Large............
more than 12"