Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Japanese Cedar
Cryptomeria japonica 'Black Dragon'

Family: Cupressaceae (koo-press-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Cryptomeria (krip-toh-MER-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: japonica (juh-PON-ih-kuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Black Dragon

4 vendors have this plant for sale.

4 members have or want this plant for trade.


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)
6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction
Pollen may cause allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
By air layering
By tip layering

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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By mickgene
Thumbnail #1 of Cryptomeria japonica by mickgene

By robmill3r
Thumbnail #2 of Cryptomeria japonica by robmill3r

By plantmover
Thumbnail #3 of Cryptomeria japonica by plantmover

By victorgardener
Thumbnail #4 of Cryptomeria japonica by victorgardener

By Lakeside3
Thumbnail #5 of Cryptomeria japonica by Lakeside3

By victorgardener
Thumbnail #6 of Cryptomeria japonica by victorgardener

By victorgardener
Thumbnail #7 of Cryptomeria japonica by victorgardener

There are a total of 8 photos.
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3 positives
1 neutral
2 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative rkwright85 On Dec 17, 2014, rkwright85 from Horton, MI (Zone 5b) wrote:

I grew this plant for several years and am giving it a negative rating because there are many alternative varieties that are much nicer than this. It was hardy and grew fine here (southern Michigan, zone 5) but I didn't think it was a very attractive variety when compared to other dwarf forms. It has nice color in Spring and Summer but has too many ugly cones and had sort of a dark rusty color in Winter. If this were the only dwarf form available I'd give it a positive rating but there are several smaller varieties that I would pick over this.

Positive LostinCanada On Nov 27, 2012, LostinCanada from Vancouver
Canada wrote:

I was looking for an attractive, low-maintenance evergreen to plant x 2 whiskey barrel (halves) at the end of my driveway. Found two attractive Black Dragons at a local nursery and figured they would look great, especially with Christmas lights.

I'm extremely pleased with my choice! For the record no fungus present, but one of the two trees I chose from the three available came with resident spider/web. I figured this was an added bonus to keep pests away and so far no regrets!

Negative GwenG On Aug 27, 2010, GwenG from Wake Forest, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:

I inherited this plant in the landscape of my new home. I've only recently discovered what it is. My tree has had a very ugly looking fungus or mold and it's covered with spider webs. It's been this way for several years now, but whatever it is, it hasn't killed the tree.
Any insight?
Also, mine is tall and straggly, with gaps between the limbs. I would love a prettier cone shape. Any hints on how to make it prettier?

Neutral Lakeside3 On Dec 18, 2008, Lakeside3 from Jacksonville, NC wrote:

Planted in a southern exsposure spring07, zone 8 with partial shade in early evening.

Positive arthurb3 On Jul 1, 2006, arthurb3 from Raleigh, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:

I purchased a 2 foot tall specimen I found in the clearance section at my local Lowe's for $10. It has grown about 5 inches and survived two tropical storms with no problems. I planted it in the front yard hoping that it will become a nice little tree-and hopfully will look great at Christmas with a few stings of lights on it!

Positive robmill3r On Jan 6, 2005, robmill3r from Woodstock, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Beautiful texture, upright habit, have 2 specimens 5'-6' tall x 2' wide, were very dense, but now open branched because of recent spider mite infestation. I like the new form better, and improved air circulation should help prevent future infestations. Have seen as tall as 9' in nursery, do not know how tall this plant can get.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Benton, Arkansas
Maumelle, Arkansas
Albany, Georgia
Alpharetta, Georgia
Atlanta, Georgia (2 reports)
Decatur, Georgia
Woodstock, Georgia
Keota, Iowa
Louisville, Kentucky
Larchmont, New York
Raleigh, North Carolina
Wake Forest, North Carolina
Waxhaw, North Carolina
Portland, Oregon
Doylestown, Pennsylvania
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Media, Pennsylvania
Mount Joy, Pennsylvania
Okatie, South Carolina
Clarksville, Tennessee
Stewart, Tennessee
Linden, Virginia
Newport News, Virginia
Stuarts Draft, Virginia
Bainbridge Island, Washington
Ridgefield, Washington

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