Characteristics of Japanese Cypress Tree (Juniperus procumbens) in the Wild

Juniperus procumbens
Japanese cypress (Juniperus procumbens) is an evergreen tree native to southern Japan. Its status as a wild plant is still being debated, with some authorities treating it as endemic on the high mountains of Kyūshū and several other islands in southern Japan. While others consider it a species of tree endemic to southern Japan (north to Chiba Prefecture) and west Korea.

This Japanese evergreen tree is closely related to Chinese Juniper (Juniperus chinensis) and is sometimes treated as a variety, such as Juniperus chinensis var procumbens.

Some Japanese cypress cultivars have been selected for cultivation, and the most widely planted is Juniperus procumbens ‘Nana’ which has been obtained in obtaining the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.

Also, there is Juniperus procumbens ‘Bonin Isles’, where the tree grows to form a low bush and is commonly found in the Bonin Islands.

The cultivar is commonly known as Juniperus procumbens ‘Variegata’ is the Juniperus chinensis cultivar and is not part of the Juniperus procumbens cultivar.


Characteristics of Japanese Cypress Leaf

Juniperus procumbens Leaf
Source : George

The leaves are arranged in three decussate whorls, all leaves are shaped like needles, 6-8 mm long, 1-1.5 mm wide, and have two white stomata ribbons on the inside.


Characteristics of Japanese Cypress Fruit

Juniperus procumbens Fruit
Source :

The fruit is typical juniper, waxy, round, 8-9 mm in diameter, dark brown to black and pale blue, and contains two or three seeds (rarely one). The fruit ripens in about 18 months or one and a half years.


Characteristics of Japanese Cypress Tree

Juniperus procumbens Tree
Source :

Japanese evergreen trees grow as low shrubs where they have an average height of 30-50 cm with a width reaching 3-4 meters to various sides. The tree grows slowly and is strong, it can live in dry and sandy soil.

Japanese cypress trees are popular as ornamental trees in the yard, sometimes it is also used as an object of bonsai trees that are planted and arranged in shallow pots.


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