Chamaecyparis obtusa

Hinoki Falsecypress




  • native to Japan
  • zone 5

Habit and Form

  • evergreen with a narrow conical shape
  • spreading branches are pendulous
  • 50' to 75' in the landscape; 120' tall in the wild
  • 10' to 20' wide
  • medium growth rate
  • medium texture

Summer Foliage

  • appressed scale leaves of two varying sizes
  • the larger scale pair are boat-like with the smaller pair similar to a triangle
  • white X-like lines on underside
  • dark green color

Autumn Foliage

  • no autumn color
  • tends to brown in winter


  • not of ornamental importance
  • monoecious


  • small cones, with only 8 scales
  • found on short stalks
  • orange brown in color


  • shredding red-brown bark


  • moist, loamy soil
  • needs a well-drained site
  • best in full sun; tolerates light shade

Landscape Use

  • mass plantings
  • specimen
  • dwarf forms used in rock gardens
  • foundation planting


  • does not do well in alkaline soil
  • does not transplant well

ID Features

  • scale like leaves
  • white X-like lines on underside of scales
  • two scale leaf sizes
  • shredding bark


  • by cuttings


'Crippsii', 'Fernspray Gold' and 'Gracilis Aurea' - These forms are among the most common nursery selections with growth that is yellow or tipped yellow.

'Nana Gracilis'- The most common form of the species, very common in the trade and in gardens. Foliage is thick, dark green in color and arranged on "wavy" branches. Commonly used as a specimen or foundation planting. The habit is broad and conical, growing slowly to 6'-8'. The growth form may revert.


© Copyright Mark H. Brand, 1997-2015.

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Citation and Acknowledgements: University of Connecticut Plant Database,, Mark H. Brand, Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, Storrs, CT 06269-4067 USA.