Chamaecyparis obtusa Cupressaceae
Hinoki Falsecypress, Hinoki Cypress kam-e-SIP-a-ris ob-TU-sa
- Conifer, evergreen tree, to 70 ft (20 m) tall and 20 ft (6 m) wide [to 120 ft (36 m) in its native
habitat], conical, branches arranged in horizontal planes. Bark reddish brown, soft and stringy.
Branchlets in thick, horizontal spreading sprays. Leaves in opposite pairs, scale-like, dense,
closely appressed, obtuse, of two sizes, the lateral pair much larger than facial leaves, not glandular,
glossy dark green above, light green below and white markings visible. Cones short-stalked,
solitary, globose ("volleyballs"), about 1 cm across, 8-10 scales.
- Hardy to USDA Zone 4 Species from Japan, Taiwan; an important timber tree in Japan, considered sacred in the Shinto faith.
- obtusa: blunt, the leaves
- Species, but more commonly selections, used in bonsai.
- Many selections of this species, Hiller Nurseries (1998) lists 45, a large number are compact/dwarf forms. Some the larger (non-dwarf) selections include:
Larger green forms
- Aurea - a conical tree with golden-yellow foliage.
- Crippsii - small, loosely conical tree with spreading branches, golden-yellow foliage, slow growing, usually to 10-15 ft (3-4.5 m, but may reach 50 ft. Considered one of the finest forms; plant in full sun.
- Fernspray Gold - golden-yellow, with fern-like leaves.
- Tetragona Aurea - a large shrub or small tree to 30 ft (10 m), branches sparse, wide spreading, foliage golden-yellow in moss-like sprays.
- Filicoides - open, irregular shrub or small tree with long stragley branches, pendulous clusters of fern-like sprays.
- Gracilis - pyramidal tree with dark green leaves, a very common form.