|Species of False Cypress||Size||Basic Requirements|
|Hinoki False Cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa)||Height 50 to 75’||Zones 4 through 8; Full sun or light shade, good acid soil|
|Spread 10 to 20’|
|Sawara False Cypress (Chamaecyparis pisifera)||Height 50 to 70’||Zones 4 through 8; Full sun or light shade, good acid soil|
|Spread 10 to 20’|
False Cypress (Chamaecyparis sp.)
Both of the Japanese False Cypress, grow in a pyramidal shape, the Sawara somewhat more narrow than the Hinoki. The Sarawa may reach 150 feet in height, whereas the Hinoki may reach 120 feet at maturity. Typically, they tend to grow less tall in our country than in their native Japan. False Cypress foliage is very similar to that of arborvitaes. The needles are either characteristically fine pointed (Sawara) or blunt ended (Hinoki) with lines or patches of pale blue underneath. They appear in flat sprays of branchlets. The Sawara cypress have attractive peeling bark.
False Cypresses bear male and female flowers. Female flowers are bluish in color and appear on the tips of foliage shoots in April. About this time male flowers shed pollen, and eventually small cones, about 1/3 to 1/2 inch long develop. Depending on the species the cones will have 10 (Sawara) or 8 (Hinoki) pointed scales on them. They ripen in the first year.
Cultivars of False Cypress
There are many dwarf varieties of these cypresses which are very popular. Some types of False Cypress have yellow needles, and others show bluish and many shades of green foliage.
Choices of Sawara False Cypress include Boulevard which has light blue foliage; Filifera Aurea (Gold Thread Cypress) which has yellow branch tips; Leptoclada which has a dense, compact, silvery gray appearance; and Plumosa which has feathery foliage.
Choices of Hinoki False Cypress include Breviramea which has a narrow form with short branches; Compacta which has a dwarf form; Crippsii is a dwarf with yellow foliage; Gracilis has dark green foliage and its branch tips droop; and finally Pygmaea is a dwarf with bronze-green foliage and fanlike branchlets.