Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon:
- Conifer, evergreen tree, to 70 ft (20 m) tall and 20 ft (6 m) wide [to 120 ft (36 m) in its native habitat], conical, branches arranged in horizontal planes. Bark reddish brown, soft and stringy. Branchlets in thick, horizontal spreading sprays. Leaves are in opposie pairs. Juvenile leaves don't overlap and are shaped more like tiny awls or broad needles rather than scale-like. The more common adult leaves are scale-like, dense, closely appressed, obtuse, of two sizes, the lateral pair much larger than facial leaves, not glandular, glossy dark green above, light green below and white markings visible. Cones short-stalked, solitary, globose ("volleyballs"), about 1 cm across, 8-10 scales.
- Hardy to USDA Zone 4 Species from Japan, Taiwan; an important timber tree in Japan, considered sacred in the Shinto faith.
- obtusa: blunt, the leaves
- The species, but more commonly selections, are used in bonsai.
There are many selections of this species, they vary greatly in size, shape, color, and texture. A few are listed below with brief descriptions.
- Dwarf shrubs
- ‘Fernspray Gold’ - upright, horizontal branches, flat sprays of yellow, green and white
- ‘Kosteri’ - dwarf, compact, conical, green
- ‘Nana Gracili' - dwarf, old plants broadly conical with a dominant central leader, dark green
- ‘Nana Lutea’ - dwarf, compact, branch tips bowed downward, golden-yellow
- ‘Snowflake’ - dwarf, upright, light green foliage with cream colored speckles
- ‘Templehof’ - dwarf, compact, branchlets fan-shaped, green to yellowish green
- ‘Compacta’ - broad conical, branches outspread to ascending, normal green foliage
- ‘Confucius’ - semi-dwarf, upright, broadly conical, foliage bright yellow-gold and green year
- ‘Gracilis’ - compact, irregular pyramidal shape, dark green foliage
- ‘Torulosa’ - semi-dwarf, thick green twisted flattened branches