Chamaecyparis obtusa, also known as Hinoki cypress, is an evergreen ornamental tree from the cypress family. This slow growing tree is used in gardens for their ornamental value. In its natural habitat in Japan, Chamaecyparis obtusa can grow up to meters though it takes much time for a plant to reach this size. Many dwarf cultivars are grown and sold commercially as ornamental trees. Chamaecyparis obtusa is characterized by dense scale-like foliage that varies in colors from blue-green to bronze and from yellow to gold.
Chamaecyparis obtusa grows as an erect evergreen tree and eventually assumes a pyramidal or columnar shape. Many cultivars of Chamaecyparis obtusa vary in size and shape. Most of them can be easily trained to make excellent bonsai. Attractive reddish-brown and nicely textured bark, and irregular branching add beauty and personality to these bonsai specimens.
Besides its ornamental value, Chamaecyparis obtusa is grown for it valuable timber. The fine grained wood from Chamaecyparis obtusa is highly resistant to rot. In Japan, this high quality, aromatic timber is used in construction.
Chamaecyparis obtusa can be grown easily in slightly moist and fertile soil under full sun.
Popular cultivars of Hinoki cypress include:
Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Aurea’: Grows upright and produces attractive yellow foliage.
Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Baldwin Variegated’: Grows as a dwarf ornamental tree with green and yellow foliage.
Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Butter Ball’: Grows as a dwarf ornamental tree with globular growth and produces dense foliage with yellow tips.
Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Dainty Doll’: A slow growing dwarf cultivar producing rich-green lacy foliage.
Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Nana’: Known for its dark-green, dense and very attractive foliage. This slow-growing variety tends to natural form a miniature shape.