Chamaecyparis thyoides

Common Name: white cypress 
Type: Needled evergreen
Family: Cupressaceae
Native Range: Eastern United States
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 30.00 to 50.00 feet
Spread: 30.00 to 40.00 feet
Bloom Time: Non-flowering
Bloom Description: Non-flowering
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Low
Leaf: Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Erosion


Easily grown in average, moist, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Best in full sun. Thrives in moist, fertile, peaty-sandy soils. Tolerates some wet soils. Shelter from strong winds. Pruning is rarely needed.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Chamaecyparis thyoides, known by a number of common names including white cypress, Atlantic cedar or swamp cedar, is a columnar evergreen conifer with a steeple-like crown that typically grows with a straight trunk to 30-50' (less frequently to 90') tall. It is native to freshwater swamps, bogs and wet woods along the Atlantic coast from Maine to Florida and along the Gulf coast from Florida to Mississippi. It is the State Tree of New Jersey where it may be seen growing in large pure colonies. Scale-like adult leaves and needle-like juvenile leaves are a soft blue green. Yellow pollen-bearing cones are found at the stem ends. Seed bearing cones in clusters emerge purple but mature to brown. Mature bark is reddish brown. Wood has excellent resistance to decay and has been used for a number of purposes including boat construction, shingles and posts.

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


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


Landscape specimen.