Hinoki-cypress is a graceful spreading tree with branches that droop at the tips. The small cones and attractive red peeling bark add winter interest. There are a number of dwarf and compact cultivars available and add nice accent in the garden.
This plant has some cultivated varieties. Go to list of cultivars.
All Common Names:
Tree or Plant Type:
- Evergreen (foliage year-round)
- Mixed border,
- Medium tree (25-40 feet),
- Small tree (15-25 feet),
- Compact tree (10-15 feet),
- Large shrub (more than 8 feet),
- Medium shrub (5-8 feet),
- Small shrub (3-5 feet),
- Low-growing shrub (under 3 feet)
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
- Zone 5 (Chicago),
- Zone 6,
- Zone 7,
- Zone 8
- Moist, well-drained soil
Season of Interest:
- Early winter,
- Mid winter,
- Late winter,
- Early spring,
- Mid spring,
- Late spring,
- Early summer,
- Mid summer,
- Late summer,
- Early fall,
- Mid fall,
- Late fall
Flower Color & Fragrance:
Shape or Form:
Size and Form
The species is a 50 to 75 feet high and 10 to 20 feet wide tree with a pyramidal form.
Cultivars vary in shape and size.
Tree & Plant Care
Unique textures and array of foliage colors make cultivars of this species excellent accents in the garden.
best in full sun to part shade in a sheltered area away from high winds.
Tolerant of most soil pH, but prefers a moist, fertile soil.
Avoid wet, poorly-drained soils.
May be difficult to transplant.
Disease, pests and problems
No serious problems, root rots occur in too wet conditions.
Native geographic location and habitat
Native to Japan.
Bark color and texture
Reddish-brown bark that peels and sheds in narrow strips.
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
Alternate, two needle types, scale-like and flattened branchlets, dark green in color with a white X-like line on underside.
Foliage is aromatic when crushed.
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
Inconspicuous. Male and female flowers are not showy, female flowers are located on the tips of branches.
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
Small, rounded (globose) brown cones on short stalks.
Cultivars and their differences
Blue Feathers hinoli-cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Blue Feathers'): A short, narrow form reaching 12 feet high and 4 feet wide; blue-green needles have a twisted growth habit.
Compact hinoki-cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Compacta’): 6 to 8 feet high and 4 to 6 feet wide; upright form.
Dwarf hinoki-cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Nana'): 1 to 2 feet high and wide; irregularly rounded, dark green.
Dwarf slender hinoki-cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Nana Gracilis’): 4 to 5 feet high and 3 to 4 feet wide; irregular when young, becoming upright with age.