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Chamaecyparis

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
kam-ee-SIP-a-riss
Description

This genus consists of six species cypress-like conifers native to North American coasts and temperate East Asia.  What is interesting the various species can grow enormously tall in the wild however, in the landscape, generally they grow from 40 feet to 90 feet. They are extensively used as ornamental evergreen landscape trees.

These trees are seldom recognized in the landscapes yet, their color, texture, and form along with pruning provides a handsome specimen. This plant is very tolerant of clipping as long as the cutting does not extend into the brown bark wood.  If cut this deeply, it cannot regenerate.   On the othe hand, if not prunned the tree becomes quite open, unkept, and pitiful looking.

Quick ID

* Chamaecyparis formosensis. Taiwan.

* Chamaecyparis hodginsil. Viet Nam and Laos.

* Chamaecyparis lawsoniana. Western North America.

* Chamaecyparis obtusa.  Japan.

* Chamaecyparis pisifera. Japan.

* Chamaecyparis thyoides. Eastern North America.

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

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: This species has moderate problems though it has been noted for blight (Phomopsis juniperovora), witches' broom, spindle burl gall, root rot and other minor insect pests.

 

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
C. obtusa, C. pisifera, C. thyoides
Tags:
#evergreen#conifer#winter interest#tsc#fall interest#stream banks#summer interest#spring interest#evergreen tree#tsc-cg
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
C. obtusa, C. pisifera, C. thyoides
Tags:
#evergreen#conifer#winter interest#tsc#fall interest#stream banks#summer interest#spring interest#evergreen tree#tsc-cg
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Chamaecyparis
    Family:
    Cupressaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Grafting
    Root Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    East & West North America, Japan, Laos, Taiwan, Viet Nam
    Distribution:
    Introduced to Europe
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 99 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 50 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Conical
    Erect
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    more than 60 feet
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b, 11a, 11b, 12a, 12b, 13a, 13b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    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 Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Good Dried
    Showy
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    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:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    White
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Long-lasting
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Needles
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Obtuse
    Ovate
    Rhomboidal
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Scale-like or awl-like leaves arranged around the branches. Many species have white markings on the underside that aid in identification. Branches may lay flat or spiral around. Some cultivars have yellow coloring.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Red/Burgundy
    Surface/Attachment:
    Patchy
    Shredding
    Bark Description:
    Often reddish-brown with either fibrous or blocky bark.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Riparian
    Landscape Theme:
    Asian Garden
    English Garden
    Water Garden
    Design Feature:
    Barrier
    Border
    Foundation Planting
    Hedge
    Screen/Privacy
    Specimen
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Rabbits
    Salt