Herb: Japanese Cedar


Latin name: Cryptomeria japonica


Synonyms: Cryptomeria fortunei, Cupressus japonica


Family: Taxodiaceae (Redwood Family)



Medicinal use of Japanese Cedar:

An oil and/or a resin from the plant is depurative and also used in the treatment of gonorrhoea.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Evergreen
Tree

Height:
20 m
(66 feet)

Flovering:
February
to March

Habitat of the herb:

Mountains and hills in areas of higher rainfall in S. and C. Japan. Rarely spontaneous. Forests on deep, well-drained soils subject to warm, moist conditions, 1100 - 2500 metres.

Other uses of Japanese Cedar:

The leaves are very aromatic and are used as incense sticks. A fairly wind-tolerant tree, it can be used in shelterbelt plantings. Wood - light, fragrant, fine grained. The wood is strongly rot resistant, easily worked, and is used for buildings, bridges, ships, lamp posts, furniture, utensils, and paper manufacture. The wood can be used as a substitute for Deal. Old wood that has been buried in the soil turns a dark green and is then much esteemed.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - sow early spring in a cold frame. The seed germinates better if given a short cold stratification for 2 - 3 weeks at 4C and is then placed in a warm position. Germination usually takes place within 3 - 9 weeks at 15C. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. An alternative is to plant out the young trees into an outdoor nursery bed when they are about 8cm tall and grow them on for a couple of years before planting them into their permanent positions in late autumn or early spring. Cuttings in the autumn in a sandy soil in a cold frame.

Cultivation of Japanese Cedar:

Mountains and hills in areas of higher rainfall in S. and C. Japan. Rarely spontaneous. Forests on deep, well-drained soils subject to warm, moist conditions, 1100 - 2500 metres.

Known hazards of Cryptomeria japonica:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.