Pinus thunbergii 'Oculus-draconis'
Plant Common Name
Dragon Eye Japanese Black Pine, Japanese Black Pine
This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.
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.
AHS Heat Zone
8 - 5
USDA Hardiness Zone
6 - 8
3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21
Needled or Scaled Evergreen
20'-35' / 6.1m - 10.7m
15'-20' / 4.6m - 6.1m
Feature Plant, Mixed Border, Screening / Wind Break, Shade Trees, Topiary / Bonsai / Espalier
Sharp or Has Thorns