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Native alternative(s) for Chamaecyparis pisifera:
Chamaecyparis thyoides Form
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Verdoni' Form
Salvia rosmarinus Rosmarinus officinalis
Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Boulevard' Form
Chamaecyparis pisifera has some common insect problems:
Bagworms in Ornamental Landscapes

Chamaecyparis pisifera

Phonetic Spelling
kam-ee-SIP-a-riss pee-SEE-fer-uh
Description

The Sawara cypress is a large evergreen conifer native to Japan belonging to the Cupressaceae (cypress) family. The plant’s genus name comes from the Greek, meaning dwarf cypress. The species name pisifera is Latin, and refers to the small rounded cones born by this tree. 

This plant grows best in full sun to part shade with moist but well-drained soil. Once established this plant is very drought tolerant.  Although it may grow very large in the wild, the cultivated form matures to 20 to 30 feet tall, with a moderate rate of growth. The form is pyramidal, but develops a loose, open habit with age. While it is multi-branched, the lower branches may die with age.

Most plants available for purchase are compact cultivars of the species. The plant may be propagated by stem cuttings, usually taken in mid to late fall. 

Sawara cypress or its cultivars are often used as a focal point or specimen tree at an entranceway or as a large foundation shrub.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: Somewhat susceptible to bagworms and root rot, and juniper blight.  See Clemson's publication on root rot.

VIDEO Created by Elizabeth Meyer for "Trees, Shrubs and Conifers" a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens.

More information on Chamaecyparis.

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
'Blue Moon', 'Boulevard', 'Cream Ball', 'Curly Tops', 'Dow Whiting', 'Filifera', 'Filifera Aurea', 'Filifera Nana', 'Gold Dust', 'Golden Mop', 'Gold Spangle', 'Lemon Thread', 'Nana Aureovariegata', 'Plumosa Aurea', 'Plumosa Juniperoides', 'Snow', 'Squarrosa Lutea', 'Squarrosa Minimas', 'Sungold', 'True Blue', 'Tsukumo', 'Vintage Gold'
Tags:
#evergreen#full sun tolerant#drought tolerant#specimen#low maintenance#winter interest#fall interest#large shrub#needled evergreen#foundation planting#summer interest#spring interest#exfoliating bark#compact habit
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
'Blue Moon', 'Boulevard', 'Cream Ball', 'Curly Tops', 'Dow Whiting', 'Filifera', 'Filifera Aurea', 'Filifera Nana', 'Gold Dust', 'Golden Mop', 'Gold Spangle', 'Lemon Thread', 'Nana Aureovariegata', 'Plumosa Aurea', 'Plumosa Juniperoides', 'Snow', 'Squarrosa Lutea', 'Squarrosa Minimas', 'Sungold', 'True Blue', 'Tsukumo', 'Vintage Gold'
Tags:
#evergreen#full sun tolerant#drought tolerant#specimen#low maintenance#winter interest#fall interest#large shrub#needled evergreen#foundation planting#summer interest#spring interest#exfoliating bark#compact habit
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Chamaecyparis
    Species:
    pisifera
    Family:
    Cupressaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Root Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Japan
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    drought
    Dimensions:
    Height: 50 ft. 0 in. - 70 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 3 ft. 0 in. - 20 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Open
    Pyramidal
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    24-60 feet
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    No true fruit - female seed-bearing cones are green when immature turning to brown.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Description:
    No true flowers - the pollen bearing cones are small and often reddish, growing from the branch tips.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Blue
    Gold/Yellow
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    White
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Obovate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    This plant has small leaves in horizontal planes. They are bright green with a silvery line underneath.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Red/Burgundy
    Surface/Attachment:
    Exfoliating
    Peeling
    Bark Description:
    The bark is reddish brown with somewhat smooth texture that peels off in thin strips.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Theme:
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Rock Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Foundation Planting
    Screen/Privacy
    Specimen
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought