Cryptomeria japonica 'Elegans'
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon:
- Conifer, evergreen shrub/tree, 8(30) ft [2.5(9) m], juvenile form, bushy. Unlike the species!! Soft feathery juvenile leaves (needles), 12-25 mm long, is green in summer but turns a rich brownish red in winter (especially in exposed sites). Sometime coneless and cones smaller than those of species.
- Best when given space to show it off. Subject to damage by wet snow.
Other cultivars which are or may be related to ‘Elegans’ include:
- ‘Elegans Aurea’ - apparently similar to ‘Elegans’ but with light green (some say green) foliage in summer, turns yellowish rather than reddish brown in cold winters.
- ‘Elegans Compacta’ - a dwarf form which turns purplish, some say brownish, in winter. Reasonably fast growing, some authorities list it as growing 3-6 ft high, others say as much as 20 ft in 10 years. A sport of ‘Elegans’ and in commerce in England since 1881.
- ‘Elegans Nana’ - some equate this to ‘Elegans Compacta’, however Hillier states that it is a very dense, slow growing shrub which "bronzes" in winter. It differs from ‘Elegans Compacta’ by having a tighter habit, straight leaves and fairy stiff to the touch. Apparently in commerce since 1923.
- ‘Elegans Variegata’ - a slow growing shrub, needles heavily variegated with white, cultivated before 1887 (Krüssmann, 1985) but now rare in commerce.
- ‘Elegans Viridis’ - does not turn brown in winter, "light fresh green even in February" and there is likely confusion with ‘Elegans Aurea’ (Jacobson, 1996).
- Oregon State Univ. campus: in front of the Seed Lab on Campus Way, between 30th St. and 35th St.