Cryptomeria japonica 'sPg-3-005' / Dragon Warrior™ Japanese cedar

Cryptomeria japonica 'sPg-3-005' Dragon Warrior™ is a dwarf, irregular-conical shrub form of Japanese cedar. Foliage is tight and congested and quite variable through the seasons. In spring the new growth is bright light green, maturing to extremely dark green in summer before finally becoming almost black in winter. Typical rate of growth in most areas is 4 to 6 inches (10 - 15 cm) per year, eventually becoming a dwarf pyramid in the garden, measuring 4.5 feet (1.5 m) tall and 30 inches (75 cm) after 10 years.

Rick Crowder at Hawksridge Farms Nursery, Hickory, North Carolina is credited with the origin and introduction of this cultivar around 2005. One of his employees found it growing as a sport on a specimen of C. japonica 'Black Dragon' at the nursery. A few plants were first released under the provisional name, [Komodo Dragon], but Crowder later decided to the change it to its present name. According to the staff of Hawksridge Farms, "we like it because it is much more compact than 'Black Dragon' and doesn't get rangy and open. Grows at about half the rate black dragon does."

Cryptomeria japonica Dragon Warrior™ — a closeup of the bright green spring foliage.
Photo by Rich Crowder, Hawksridge Farms
Cryptomeria japonica Dragon Warrior™' at Vista Garden, Conyers, Georgia.
Photo by Tom Cox