WSU Clark County Extension

PNW Plants Searchable, categorized images

Japanese Plume Cedar

Scientific name: Cryptomeria japonica ‘Elegans’

Type:Coniferous trees
Plant Requirements
Zone:6 to 9
Sun:Full sun
Plant Characteristics
Height:30 ft
Width:10 ft
Additional Characteristics



Wildlife value

Description Valued for its dense solid foliage and rich coloring, Plume Cedar makes a striking winter accent tree for the grey days of the winter.

Plume Cedar, also known as Plume Cryptomeria, is a dense, slow growing evergreen conifer with tiered branches and feathery blue-green foliage during the summer, which turns a mahogany red color in the winter. It grows to a mature height of 30’ and a width of 10’. The fluffy foliage consists of needles which are .5”-1.0” in length. This species grows in a columnar shape with a single straight trunk.

Cones are formed on the ends of the limbs and are globular in shape. Cones rarely exceed an inch in diameter.

The bark is reddish brown and is considered ornamental, as it peels off in long strips.

Plume Cedar does best on well drained, acidic sites that are rich in humus. Avoid excessively windy sites. This would make a welcome addition to smaller landscapes west of the Cascades. Be sure to select a sunny spot to help ensure the best winter coloration.

For an Oriental look, some gardeners prune out some branches to give Plume cedar a tiered look.

None reported.
For assistance, contact Dr. Charles Brun (, (360) 397-6060 5701
Computing and Web Resources, PO Box 6234, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-6234