Japanese Cedar 'Black Dragon'

Cryptomeria japonica

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




Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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:

Unknown - Tell us

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


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

Pipersville, Pennsylvania

Okatie, South Carolina

Clarksville, Tennessee

Stewart, Tennessee

Linden, Virginia

Newport News, Virginia

Stuarts Draft, Virginia

Bainbridge Island, Washington

Ridgefield, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


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.


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!


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?


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

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


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!



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.