Name: Cryptomeria japonica aka Japanese cryptomeria or Japanese cedar
Type of Plant: Large to medium (depending on cultivar) sized evergreen tree for full sun or part-sun. Hardy in zones 5 to 9
Why I love this: This needled evergreen has bright, pale green foliage in the fall and early winter. When you cut the tips off of this plant for use in outdoor containers such as urns, window boxes and porch arrangements, the light color and unusual texture of these greens make whatever you’re doing come alive. This is a beautiful tree in the landscape, but do give it room to grow large over time.
A Word to the Wise: The foliage on the Cryptomeria turns bronze in the winter…people who are new to this plant assume that their tree has died in February. Not to worry – the plant greens up again in the spring. It’s only in the deepest of winter that the foliage is more brown than green.
There are several Cryptomeria cultivars that offer various growing patterns. ‘Globosa Nana’ and ‘Elegans Nana’ are lower growing varieties. (Note: when you see a plant with “Nana” in the name that indicates that this variety will be smaller.) Black Dragon is a widely available variety that grows only 10 feet tall.