Xanthocyparis nootkatensis 'Pendula'

Tried and Trouble-free Recommended by 5 Professionals
Common Name: nootka cypress
Type: Needled evergreen
Family: Cupressaceae
Zone: 4 to 7
Height: 20.00 to 35.00 feet
Spread: 8.00 to 12.00 feet
Bloom Time: Non-flowering
Bloom Description: Non-flowering
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Leaf: Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest


Grow in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Best in full sun in the northern part of its growing range, but appreciates some afternoon part shade in the southern part of its range. Best performance is in moist, fertile soils in cool summer climates with above average humidity/rainfall.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Xanthocyparis nootkatensis, formerly known as Chamaecyparis nootkatensis, is commonly called Nootka cypress or Alaska-cedar or yellow cypress. It is native to moist soils in bottomlands, along streams and in ravines along the Pacific Coast from southeastern Alaska to northern California. It is an evergreen conifer that will grow slowly to as much as 60-90’ tall in the wild and live for 1000+ years. ‘Pendula’ is a slender, pyramidal, strongly weeping form that may grow to as much as 35’ tall and 12’ wide over 35 years, but is often seen growing much smaller. It is an excellent specimen tree that features a nodding central leader with widely-spaced ascending to arching to horizontal branches from which droop branchlets clad with flattened sprays of scale-like blue-green to gray-green leaves. Leaves will emit an unpleasant odor when rubbed or crushed. Rounded seed cones to 1/2” diameter. The International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (ICBN) currently considers the original name of Callitropsis (not Chamaecyparis) to be the proper genus name for this species (nootkatensis), but as the result of a recent vote of the ICBN Nomenclature Committee, Xanthocyparis has now been proposed for conservation as the genus name with a ratification vote expected to take place at the 2012 meeting of the ICBN Congress.


No known serious insect or disease problems. Plants generally have some susceptibility to juniper blight, root rot and certain insect pests such as bagworms and juniper scale. Plants may struggle in the St. Louis area where environmental conditions do not favor most conifers.

Garden Uses

Landscape specimen. Near patio or deck. Effective near bodies of water.