Sunday, January 9, 2011

Cryptomeria japonica--Japanese Plume Cedar

The Japanese Plume Cedar is odd because it is an evergreen tree with fall color. The needles are green in summer and turn bronze in winter. Does that mean that they turn back to green when the days get longer? I guess so. Seems odd.

The one at the UC Botanical Garden droop and cross each other near the ground, which is unusual in this species. It is supposed to grow as a 60' tall column, as you would expect in a redwood or fir. Maybe this specimen had a hard life in its early years.

This particular tree is the variety elegans, which as dense soft foliage and was introduced from Japan in the mid 1800s. This at the Bot Garden was planted in 1945, as indicated on the lable. Many other varieties are available. Black Dragon has needles that are almost black. Globosa Nana is dome-shaped. Gyokuryu has stiff dark green needles. Knaptonesis foliage is tipped in white. Plus many more; too many to mention.

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