Cryptomeria Japonica

Cryptomeria japonica - The Japanese Cedar
Cryptomeria japonica – The Japanese Cedar

Although Cryptomeria japonica is the only species in the genus this does not mean that all Cryptomeria varieties are the same. In Japan the common name is ‘Sugi’, they are also known as the Japanese Cedar.

The species itself is a tall evergreen tree that can reach 30 – 40 ft in height, a fairly vigorous grower with a good upright habit with green foliage.

We also have Cryptomeria japonica elegans, one of the more popular varieties, very soft foliage that turns a very nice plum red over winter. It will still reach 30 ft in time.

We also have the smaller growing varieties, and these are widely used in gardens.


 Cryptomeria japonica 'Tansu'
Cryptomeria japonica ‘Tansu’

Cryptomeria japonica ‘Globosa Nana’ is a small growing variety that forms a rather neat dome over time.

You could use this as a slow growing hedge, plant at around 2 – 3 ft apart. Bright green foliage in a plant that will eventually reach around 5ft in height. Growing well in full sun to part shade in USA zones 5 – 9.

These small growing varieties are very popular for use in Bonsai, especially ‘elgens nana’ and ‘globosa nana’. Bothe are slow growing, have small foliage and easily pruned.

Cryptomeria japonica ‘Tansu’ is one of the dwarf cultivars that is at home in the rock garden. Pictured right we have a mature specimen. Over time it will reach around 3ft in height over 10 – 15 years.

  • C. japonica gyokuryu
  • Cryptomeria japonica ‘Globosa Nana’
  • C. japonica spiralis
  • C. japonica yoshino
  • C. japonica cristata
  • C. japonica ‘Sekkan Sugi’
  • C. japonica ‘Rasen’
  • C. japonica ‘Pygmaea
  • C. japonica ‘elegans compacta’

Most are well suited to USDA Zones 4 – 8.

Landscaping Uses

From large feature trees to low growing, slow growing hedging plants, Cryptomeria have a lot to offer landscaper.

Where to Buy

Cryptomeria japonica are available for sale from the following nurseries

9701 Carrie Road Chapel Hill NC 27516
phone: 919-968-0504 fax: 919-960-7690