Dumbarton House Featured Flora: Japanese Cedar

Cryptomeria japonica ‘Yoshino’

The Japanese Cedar is native to forested areas in Japan and China and is a species in the Redwood family. The foliage resembles the Giant Sequoias’. It is grown as an ornamental in parts of the United States and southern Canada. The ‘Yoshino’ has a symmetrical, pyramidal form and typically matures to 30-40 feet tall and 20-30 feet wide. The lime-green to blue-green ¾-inch evergreen needles are spirally arranged along drooping branchlets. Spherical 1-inch cones appear at the shoot ends. Best grown in moist, rich, fertile, well-drained soil in full sun. It can be injured by frost.

The name is derived from the Greek cryptos, hidden, and meros, part, because the parts of the flower are not easy to distinguish. It is the national tree of Japan where it is planted at temples and shrines. The tree works well as a windscreen and is a graceful, handsome specimen for parks.

Written by: Kathy Clare, Garden Volunteer


Keep Learning


Ninety Years of Dumbarton House!

In 1927, the National Board of The National Society of the Colonial Dames of America (NSCDA) approved that the Society should “acquire an old, historic ...
From the Garden

Restoration of the North Garden Niche

Preservation requires understanding the history and construction of the object or structure being preserved if it is to be done correctly. If not careful, our ...
History of the Home

The Hidden Figures of Dumbarton House: Slavery and Servitude within the Nourse family Household

For over a decade interns, volunteers, and staff at Dumbarton House have been researching the question—did the Nourse family have any enslaved workers or indentured ...
History of the Home

Digitizing the NSCDA Archives

This article contains the work of several interns who have been involved in the ongoing process of digitizing the many records in the archives of ...
From the Garden

Dumbarton House Featured Flora: Globe Amaranth

Gomphrena Globosa Globe amaranth, scientifically known as gomphrena globosa, is native to South and Central America and is a member of the Amaranthaceous family. It is ...
From the Garden

Dumbarton House Featured Flora: Japanese Snowbell

Styrax japonicus Japanese Snowbell is native to China and Japan. It is a graceful, compact, deciduous flowering tree that grows to 20-30 feet tall with ...
From the Garden

Dumbarton House Featured Flora: Chaste Tree

Vitex agnus castus The Chaste Tree is a native of China and India but has become naturalized throughout the South. Peter Henderson, an early American ...
From the Garden

Dumbarton House Featured Flora: Scholar Tree, Pagoda Tree

Sophora japonica Sophora japonica is native to China and Korea, but not Japan. The common name, Pagoda Tree, recognizes the early use of the tree in ...
History of the Home


Visitors to Dumbarton House return in time to when Joseph Nourse, first Register of the U.S. Treasury, and his wife Maria, made their home here, between 1804 and 1813. ...