Advanced Search Filters

Plant Type
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
Sunset Zone
Function
Sun Exposure
Soil Moisture
Water Requirement

CRYPTOMERIA japonica 'Vilmoriniana'

Image of Cryptomeria japonica 'Vilmoriniana'

Jesse Saylor

Family

Cupressaceae

Botanical Name

CRYPTOMERIA japonica 'Vilmoriniana'

Plant Common Name

Japanese Cryptomeria, Vilmoriniana Japanese Cryptomeria

General Description

The dwarf Japanese cedar, 'Vilmoriniana', is a rounded evergreen shrub with needles that are grayish green in the growing season and bronze in winter's cold. Its reddish-brown, exfoliating bark is attractive but rarely viewed through its dense, cloud-like clumps of needles. Mature specimens form tidy mounds ideal for smaller, more formal landscapes.

The tall, regal Japanese cedar is a lovely needled evergreen tree native to the open forests of China and Japan. It is admired for its attractive pyramidal to ovoid habit, coarse green needles and straight trunk lined with attractive reddish brown exfoliating bark. Its branches are full and form billowing, cloud-like clumps of needles which make a dense canopy. This is a long-cultivated tree with many unique and distinct cultivars to include variegated and dwarf selections.

The coarse, spirally arranged needles of this Japanese cedar are gray green through the growing season and turn shades of bronze in winter. Its clusters of small male, or pollen, cones are borne along the axils of the second year branchlet tips and pendulous reddish brown female, or seed, cones are borne singly along the branch tips. The pretty exfoliating reddish brown bark is most conspicuous on the trunks of older trees but is typically obscured by the dense canopy of younger specimens.

Japanese cedar tolerates most well-drained, slightly acid, fertile soils and prefers full sun but will withstand partial shade. This is not a tree for dry or windy spots. When subjected to these stresses specimens look puny and spindly. There are many landscaping applications for Japanese cedar depending on the cultivar. More compact selections are ideal for foundation plantings and small-scale landscapes. This is a favorite shrub for bonsai. Fungal blight is a common disease problem that can cause branch dieback.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 4

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    6 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    1'-2' / 0.3m - 0.6m

  • Width

    2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m

  • Native To

    Japan

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    None

  • Fruit Color

    Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green, Purple, Brown, Bronze

  • Bark Color

    Sienna

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    Yes

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Exfoliating

  • Usage

    Container, Edging, Feature Plant, Foundation, Mixed Border, Topiary / Bonsai / Espalier

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No