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Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Cryptomeria (Greek, kryptos, hidden, meros, part; meaning doubtful). Pinaceae. Ornamental evergreen cultivated for its handsome habit and foliage.

Large pyramidal tree, with a straight slender trunk, covered with reddish brown bark and with verticillate spreading branches, ascending at the extremities: Lvs. spirally arranged, linear-subulate, acute, slightly curved, decurrent at the base: fls. monoecious; staminate oblong, yellow, forming short racemes at the end of the branches, pistillate globular, solitary, at the end of short branchlets: cone globular, with thick, wedge-shaped scales, furnished with a recurved point on the back and with pointed lobes at the apex, each scale with 3-5 narrow-winged, erect seeds.—One species in China and Japan, extensively planted for avenues, and as timber trees in the latter country, where the light and easily worked but durable wood is much used.

It is hardy as far north as New York, and thrives in sheltered positions even in New England. It seems, however, in cultivation, not to assume the beauty it possesses in its native country. With us, it looks best as a young plant, when it much resembles the Araucaria excelsa. It is therefore sometimes grown in pots. It thrives best in a rich, loamy and moist soil and sheltered position. Propagated by seeds or by cuttings of growing wood, especially var. elegans, which grows very readily. The horticultural varieties are also sometimes increased by grafting. CH

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.


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