A Brief History of the Japonica Tree Ornamental

 

There are two distinct species of Cryptomeria, Cryptocoryne wendtii and Cryptomeria maximutibacterium. Both of them belong to the Cryptocoryne family and both occur naturally all over the world. In North America, Cryptocoryne wendtii is found mostly in wooded areas with slopes. Cryptocoryne maximutibacterium occurs in sandy soils.

Cryptomeria japonica is a monotypic genera of conifer from the cypress family, Cupressaceae, once belonging to the family Taxodiaceae. It has only one recognized species, Cryptomeria japonica, now commonly referred to as Japanese cedar. It was thought by some to be indigenous to Japan, which means that it was quite common in pre-Christian times. Its occurrence in other countries, however, has since been widely documented.

The genus Cryptomeria contains two subgenera. One of these, Cryptocoryne hederii, is comprised of thirty species. Thirty of these are tall shrubs or climbers that grow up to three feet tall. Seven of them grow to a height of two feet or less. The genus Cryptocoryne is very similar to the genus Juniperus that contains six subgenera and one species.

The other subgenus or monotypic genus, Cryptocoryne japonica, is comprised of only one species. It is the same as the Japanese cedar and is, therefore, also known as Japanese maple. The main differences between the cedar and the maple are the bark pattern and the kind of needles, the tree produces. The needle like structures that the trees produce look a lot like the characteristic conifer needles but they do not have bark. Because of this very apparent similarity to conifers, it was believed for a long time that the Japanese cedar was a subspecies of the juniper.

As time passed, it was realized that the Japanese cedar had several varieties and that they all had different characteristics. Some were larger than other, and some produced shorter male cones. These differences led some researchers to conclude that the japonica, which was originally thought to be a juniper, could actually be the true tree of the Japanese people. Male cones that were much larger than female cones were found. This convinced some botanists that it was the japonica that was really Japanese.

Another group of researchers, who studied North American tall cedars, came to the conclusion that the Japanese cedar was a subspecies of the common deciduous tree, Cryptomeria japonica, also known as the Japanese Anemone tree. They believed that the tall conifers were a sub-species of the common deciduous woody plant, Cryptocornye baileyana. They named the new species Cryptomeria japonica, which means ‘colored japonica’.

There are several other varieties of the Japanese cedar that are considered less common. One is the Japonica bunyu, or English tea tree, which is a deciduous tree and produces the popular white tea. Another variety is the Japonica pomelo, or white polo, which is also a deciduous tree and is famous for its edible fruit. It is also the most popular ornamental tree in Japan.

The Japonica tree can grow up to forty feet in height with a width of ten feet. In addition to the varieties already mentioned, there are some others like the Japonica pulcherrima, or English cedar, the Japonica cappuccino, or white cedar, the Japonica periwinkle, or the Japonica phalaenopsis. If you want to decorate a garden area, you should consider planting the Japonica. Not only does it have all the traditional characteristics of a Japanese evergreen timber tree, but it is also quite easy to care for. In fact, if you follow a few simple guidelines, it can even be maintained by yourself. As long as you give it sufficient watering, the occasional pruning, and do not over feed, your cedar tree will live a long and healthy life.