Cryptomeria japonica ‘Black Dragon’ – A compact form of Japanese Cedar with a congested growth habit of ascending stiff needles that emerge lime green (as shown in the photo) and mature to a very dark black-green colour. This is a good choice for smaller Asian-themed landscapes and it prefers part to full sun exposures. Grows 8-10′ high by 6′ wide. Hardy to zone 6.
Cryptomeria japonica ‘Spiralis’ (syn. ‘Yore-sugi’) – Also known as ‘Granny’s Ringlets’, this unusual cultivar features rope-like branches with the needles twisting tightly around the stems. It has a variable growth habit but if a strong leader forms it can grow to 8′ tall in ten years. Introduced from Japan in 1860. Ultimate size 20′ high by 10′ wide. Hardy to zone 6.
Cryptomeria japonica ‘Vilmoriniana Gold’ – A newer cultivar which has bright gold new growth in spring, distinguishing it from ‘Vilmoriniana’. It forms a tight globe of dense foliage without pruning and may show some bronzing in winter. This is an excellent choice for containers or smaller-scale rock gardens. Grows 18-24″ high and wide in 10 years. Zone 6.
Cryptomeria japonica ‘Araucarioides’ – The Whip-Cord Cryptomeria somewhat resembles a Monkey Puzzle tree when it is young. The closely angled needles give it a very linear appearance and it is sparsely branched when young, gaining density as it ages. Foliage turns reddish-brown and burgundy in winter. Grows 15-20′ high by 12′ wide. Hardy to zone 6.
Cryptomeria japonica ‘Jindai’ (syn. ‘Jindai Sugi’) – This Cryptomeria is somewhat similar to ‘Black Dragon’ except that the light green foliage is retained throughout the year, with the exception of a little winter bronzing. This compact form was introduced from Japan around 1932 and is reputed to be one of the hardiest cultivars. Grows 12′ high by 8′ wide. Zone 5.