Containing an astonishing 6,852 islands, Japan is a country with tremendous diversity, exhibiting lush forests, expansive mountain ranges and miles and miles of seaside coast. Japan contains a number of tree species that have adapted to the country's mostly temperate climate. These Japanese trees, cultivated for their unique beauty, often thrive in temperate regions throughout the world.
The Japanese cedar (Cryptomeria japonica) is a fast-growing evergreen that often reaches heights of up to 60 feet in cultivation, and can reach heights of 180 feet in the wild. Exhibiting bluish-green foliage and deep red bark, Japanese cedar is a hardy tree that has a long history of cultivation in its native Japan. It will grow in both full sun and partial shade, and prefers soils that are well-draining, yet moist. The tree is often grown as a bonsai.
Saucer magnolia (Magnolia x soulangeana), also called Japanese magnolia or tulip tree, is a striking flowering tree native to Japan. The small tree, which rarely reaches heights over 30 feet, has smooth gray bark accented by rich green foliage and large, saucer shaped blooms. The fragrant flowers of the Japanese magnolia can range in color from purple to pink or white, depending on the variety. The tree does best in filtered sunlight, although it will grow in full sunlight if mulched well. Saucer magnolia trees prefer nutrient-rich soils that are well-drained and moist.
Yew pines (Podocarpus macrophylla), also called Japanese yew or Buddhist yew, is a small tree or large shrub that boasts long, flat leaves. Male plants produce columns of dusty yellow pollen, while female plants boast attractive dusty blue fruits. Native to Japan and southern China, yew pine is an attractive ornamental that is frequently grown in coastal gardens thanks to the plant's salt tolerance. Yew pine tolerates both full sunlight and shade, and will grow best in soils that are fertile and well-drained.
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