Cryptomeria japonica 'Tarheel Blue' / Tarheel Blue Japanese cedar

Cryptomeria japonica 'Tarheel Blue' is an exceptional tree-form of Japanese cedar with intense Blue foliage and red bark. As is typical of many cultivars of this species, the foliage with turn maroon in winter in parts of the world with colder climates, creating seasonal interest. Typical rate of growth in most areas is 12 to 18 inches (30 - 45 cm) a year resulting in a stunning Blue tree, 10 feet (3 m) tall by 6 feet (2 m) wide after 10 years in the landscape.

Sam Allen of Clayton North Carolina is credited with the origin, nomination and introduction of this cultivar. It came about from a Blue reversion he found around 2005 on a specimen of C. japonica 'Elegans' at his nursery, Tarheel Native Trees. He named it in honor of the nursery. 'Tarheel Blue' is a very rare cultivar in the nursery trade. Up to the time of this record being published in 2014, it has been rather slow to make it into gardens outside the southeastern U.S., but is extremely landscape-worthy when it can be located.

Attribution from: David Olszyk, ACS ConiferBase editor, in conversation with the originator, September 2014

Cryptomeria japonica 'Tarheel Blue' at Cox Arboretum, Canton, Georgia.
Photo by Tom Cox