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PINUS thunbergii 'Oculus-draconis'

Image of Pinus thunbergii 'Oculus-draconis'

Eva Monheim

Family

Pinaceae

Botanical Name

PINUS thunbergii 'Oculus-draconis'

Plant Common Name

Dragon Eye Japanese Black Pine, Japanese Black Pine

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

Cultivated for centuries across its native East Asia (coastal forests in Japan and Korea), Japanese black pine is an evergreen conifer prized for its dark green foliage and silvery new growth. The cultivar 'Oculus-Draconis' grows slowly into a dense, rounded small tree. Its needles have pale yellow bases and dark green tips (or bands), creating a "dragon eye" in cross section at branch tips.

The stiff, sharp needles of this pine occur in bundles of two. The buds and new spring shoots (or "candles") are covered with silvery-white down, which contrasts strikingly with the needles. Light yellow colors develops later in spring and into summer. This yellow variegation often wanes by winter, and in some climates the needles will suffer sun scald.

Dragon's eye Japanese black pine excels in full sun and well-drained soil, being both drought and salt tolerant. This semi-dwarf cultivar makes an excellent lone specimen, bonsai, or mixed border plant.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 5

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    6 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21

  • Plant Type

    Needled or Scaled Evergreen

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    20'-35' / 6.1m - 10.7m

  • Width

    15'-20' / 4.6m - 6.1m

  • Native To

    Eastern Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought, Salt

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant

  • Habit

    Pyramidal

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    None

  • Fruit Color

    Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Dark Green, Silver

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green, Light Yellow

  • Foliage Color (Summer) Modifier

    Variegated

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green, Light Yellow

  • Foliage Color (Fall) Modifier

    Variegated

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Dark Green

  • Bark Color

    Brown, Black, Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    Yes

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Fissured

  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Mixed Border, Screening / Wind Break, Shade Trees, Topiary / Bonsai / Espalier

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No