Greek kryptos - hidden, meris - part; exact meaning obscure.
Evergreen tree growing to c. 35 m tall in nature. Trunk tapering, slightly buttressed. Bark reddish, fibrous and shredding. Buds small. Branches whorled, either horizontal or pendulous. Branchlets spreading, drooping and eventually deciduous. Leaves spirally arranged, 4-angled, flattened and mostly incurved, to 2 cm long, curving inwards with the base clasping the stem. Male and female cones on the same tree. Male cones clustered near the ends of the branchlets, June-Aug. Female cones 1-2 cm broad, solitary, globular, brown, terminal, developing in early spring and ripening in the first year; scales 20-30 with mostly several spines. Seeds 3-5 mm long with small wings.
1 species from China and Japan.
Seed or cuttings.
Conical habit with branchlets spreading in all directions from a diverging stem; cone scales each with several spines. Once regarded as several species a distinction is now made only between var. japonica has the bottom half of leaves straight, cone scales 20-30 each with 2-5 seeds and with the tip bract projections 2-3.5 mm long, while var. sinensis has incurved leaves cone scales ca. 20, each bearing 2 seeds the bract projections 1-2 mm long.
Source: (1995). Taxodiaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 1, Ferns, conifers & their allies. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.