Sciadopitys verticillata

Japanese umbrella pine

  • © Rhoda Maurer

Outstanding Qualities

The thick, dark green needles of this unusual evergreen conifer are held like the ribs of an umbrella around its stems, giving it a unique appearance. It is very slow-growing and columnar in shape, which makes it suitable for small gardens. Japanese umbrella pine (or parasol pine) creates an eye-catching accent in the landscape. Despite its common name, this is not a true pine (genus Pinus). Like the dawn redwood, Sciadopitys was once widespread, even growing in Europe, where it is seen in the fossil record. Due to climate changes and competition, its native range was reduced to a few towns in central Honshu, in japan. However, it has been grown around monasteries in Japan for centuries. This species is the only one in the genus.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: pyramidal conifer

Foliage Type: evergreen

Plant Height: 7 ft. 0 in. (2.13 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 3 ft. 0 in. (0.91 meters)

Plant Height-Mature: 30 ft. 0 in. (9.14 meters)

Plant Width-Mature: 10 ft. 0 in. (3.05 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 6 to 8

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun

Water Requirements: drought tolerant when established

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: burgundy, bronze, black

Great Color Partners: dark green, blue, chartreuse

Culture Notes
Japanese umbrella pine grows well in full sun to light or open shade. It prefers a well-drained or sandy soil, but will tolerate clay if the drainage is adequate. Once established it is drought tolerant, but young plants appreciate occasional watering during dry weather. Very little pruning is necessary, only remove dead, broken or poorly formed branches.