Cryptomeria japonica 'Giokumo' / Giokumo Japanese cedar

Cryptomeria japonica 'Giokumo' is an easy-care, evergreen dwarf selection of Japanese cedar which provides year-round interest. This compact, densely pyramidal tree has a vigorous growth rate. Early growth in the first 3 to 4 years is mounding and spreading, but it matures at a height between 4 to 5 feet (1.2 - 1.5 m) tall and about 3 to 4 feet (0.9 - 1.2 m) wide after 10 years in the landscape. For added interest, 'Giokumo' sports persistent, cinnamon-colored decorative seed cones about 0.75 inch (1.8 cm) long.

Giokumo Japanese cedar has beautiful, deep green foliage coloration and 3/8 inch (1 cm) long, spirally-arranged, awl- shaped needles that curve inward. Overall, the dense foliage can be described as “meaty.” Numerous flexible branchlets are green and thickly covered with these short, spiraling needles, creating a thick, dense habit. Branchlets are eventually deciduous, typically persisting 3 to 4 years. It has a stout trunk and graceful growth habit. In exposed areas, 'Giokumo' exhibits a coppery or bronzy winter color, particularly when exposed to wind.

At this time, the specific origin of this cultivar is unknown. It is believed that Garden Debut nursery of Park Hill, Oklahoma made this cultivar's U.S. debut in 2011. Prior to that, it had been listed by Alpenglow Gardens nursery of New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada in 1968.

Attribution from: Greenleaf Nursery inc. website, accessed 2014.

Cryptomeria japonica 'Giokumo' showing characteristic winter bronzing.
Photo by Tom Cox
Cryptomeria japonica 'Giokumo' at Cox Arboretum, Canton, Georgia.
Photo by Tom Cox