Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Coralliformis'
Common Name: hinoki cypress
Type: Needled evergreen
Family: Cupressaceae
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 2.00 to 5.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 5.00 feet
Bloom Time: Non-flowering
Bloom Description: Non-flowering
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Leaf: Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Best in full sun. Prefers moist, fertile soils. Avoid wet, poorly-drained soils. Shelter from wind.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Chamaecyparis obtusa is native to Japan. It is commonly called hinoki cypress or hinoki falsecypress. It is an evergreen conifer that grows 50-75’ tall (to 120' tall in its native habitat) with a pyramidal shape. It features spreading branches with flattened horizontal branchlets that droop at the ends. Dark green scale-like leaves in two sizes have white markings beneath. Crushed foliage is aromatic. Reddish brown bark will peel on mature trees. Small, 8-scaled, greenish-brown (female) to orange brown (male) cones. Although species trees are uncommonly planted in the home landscape, a large number of compact and dwarf cultivars have become very popular for use as small accents/specimens, hedges, screens and foundation/rock garden plants.

Genus name comes from Greek chamai meaning dwarf or to the ground and kyparissos meaning cypress tree.

Specific epithet means rounded in reference to its leaves being blunt/rounded at the tips.

In Japan, hinoki means fire tree.

In Manual of Cultivated Conifers (1985), Gerd Krussmann describes ‘Coralliformis’ as existing before 1909 and growing to only 50 cm (20”) tall. On the other hand, many nurseries currently sell this plant as a slow-grower that will mature to 2-4’ tall over 10 years, but may eventually reach 10-12’ tall over 35+ years. Foliage is medium green. Bark is cinnamon. Regardless of mature size, small ‘Coralliformis’ plants purportedly are reminiscent of coral.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Some susceptibility to juniper blight, root rot and certain insect pests such as bagworms.

Garden Uses

Specimen evergreen conifer.

Attractive dwarf specimen for rock gardens or foundation plantings.