Cryptomeria japonica ‘Cristata’

crested Japanese cedar

Outstanding Qualities

This is one of the weirdest evergreen conifers you can grow. It has an attractive columnar form with a full habit. The eye-catching trait is the odd, congested growth of bright green foliage on the tips of many of its branches. These unusual growths are reminiscent of a cluster of cockscombs all glued together! Use it as a specimen, with lots of space around it, and visitors are sure to comment. It looks best with smaller, less eye-catching at its base.

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: gold, burgundy, bronze

Great Color Partners: dark green, silver, variegated

Culture Notes

This unusual Japanese cedar thrives in full sun to light or open shade. It prefers a site with well-drained soil, but it will tolerate sandy or clay soils. During dry weather provide occasional watering. It needs very little pruning. Young plants may grow quickly when first planted but within a few years the rate slows. Overly vigorous shoots can be pruned off to maintain its shape.

© Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Quick Facts

Plant Type: columnar conifer

Foliage Type: evergreen

Plant Height: 15 ft. 0 in. (4.57 m.)

Plant Width/Spread: 7 ft. 0 in. (2.13 m.)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 6 to 9

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun to light or open shade

Water Requirements: occasional watering