In its native Japan, this tree reaches 100120 feet tall, but in Southern gardens it is not likely to exceed 2540 feet tall, 2530 feet wide. Very slow grower. In youth, it is symmetrical, dense, and rather narrow; with age, it is more open, and limbs tend to droop. Small, scalelike leaves are scattered along branches and bunched at branch ends. Glossy, dark green needles grow in whorls of 20 to 30 at branch and twig ends, radiating out like spokes of an umbrella; they are flattened, firm, fleshy, 36 inches long. Woody, 3- to 5 inches cones may appear on older trees.
Choice decorative tree for open ground or containers. Plant in rich, well-drained, neutral or slightly acid soil. Watch for mites in hot, dry weather. Boughs are beautiful and long lasting in arrangements.