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Chamaecyparis pisifera - (Siebold & Zucc.) Endl.

Common Name Sawara cypress
Family Cupressaceae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards None Known
Habitats Occurs where sympatric with the more ubiquitous C. obtusa, on wetter sites e.g. near mountain streams or in hollows with ground water near the surface. In those wet places trees can spread by the layering of branches to form small groves of clonal individuals. It is a minor constituent in mixed conifer/angiosperm forests. Its altitudinal range is from 280 m to 2600 m a.s.l. [1-7]
Range Native to central and southern Japan, on the islands of Honsh_ and Ky_sh_.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Chamaecyparis pisifera Sawara cypress

Chamaecyparis pisifera Sawara cypress
Bruce Marlin wikimedia.org


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Chamaecyparis pisifera is an evergreen Tree growing to 40 m (131ft) by 25 m (82ft) at a medium rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 5. The flowers are pollinated by Wind.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil and can tolerate drought. It cannot tolerate atmospheric pollution.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


C. pisifera f. aurea (Gordon) Rehder. C. f. plumosa (Carriere) Beissner. C. pisifera f. squarrosa (Zucc.) Beissner. C. pisifera var. filifera-aurea (Beissner) Rehder. Cupressus pisifera K Koch. Retinispora pisifera Siebold & Zucc.

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

None known

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

None Known

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Agroforestry: Boundary, barrier or support. Pioneer. General: Ornamental tree. Limited as a source of timber, but widely cultivated as an ornamental, with many named cultivars. As of other members of the genus, the wood is valued in Japan for traditional construction work, but its relative scarcity and the often poor shape of layering trees limit its commercial use [1-7]. Wood Products: Containers including boxes, cases and cooperage. Furniture. Sawn or hewn building timbers. Beams For heavy and light construction. Shingles. Veneers. Musical instruments [1-7]. Good pioneer species with durable wood. Species and large growing cultivars for lawn specimen, shrub borders and screen. Dwarf cultivars for rock gardens, foundation plantings or specimen.

Special Uses

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Best in part shade. Prefers moist, fertile soils. Avoid wet, poorly-drained soils. Shelter from strong winds. Pruning is rarely needed. Winter Interest. Tolerates drought. Good pioneer species with durable wood. A number of varieties exist including: Chamaecyparis pisifera form. crassa Hayashi. Chamaecyparis pisifera form. intermedia Hornib. Chamaecyparis pisifera var. filifera Beiss. et Hochst. Chamaecyparis Chamaecyparis pisifera var. plumosa form. argenta Beiss. Chamaecyparis pisifera var. plumosa form. aurea Beiss. Chamaecyparis pisifera var. squarrosa form. leptoc Sieb. A large number of more compact cultivars including some dwarfs are available.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Plant Propagation

Seed - sow March/April in a seedbed outdoors[78]. The seed is best sown in pots in a frame[K]. Seed can take 18 months to germinate. One month warm then one month cold stratification has produced good results[113]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter, planting them out in late spring after the last expected frosts. Cuttings in late summer or autumn in sandy soil in a cold frame[1, 11, 200]. Difficult, it may be best done in late winter to early spring[113].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Pea-fruited false cypress; sawara cypress. French: cypr?s ? fruit de pois; cypr?s de sawara; pisif?re faux cypr?s.Local Common Names: Germany: erbsenfruchtige Lebensbaum; erbsenfruechtige Lebensbaumzypresse; erbsenfruechtige Weisszeder; Sawara- Scheinzypresse. Italy: cipresso giapponese; sawara cipresso. Japan: Sawara. Netherlands: Japanse cypres. UK: Sawara ceder.

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

None Known

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : Least Concern ver 3.1

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Chamaecyparis lawsonianaLawson Cypress, Port orford cedar, Oregon Cedar, Port Orford Cedar, Lawson's CypressTree25.0 5-7 MLMHSNDM013
Chamaecyparis nootkatensisNootka Cypress, Nootka Cypress, Yellow Cypress, Alaska CedarTree15.0 4-8 MLMHSNDM013
Chamaecyparis obtusaJapanese cypressTree40.0 4-8 MLMHNM003
Chamaecyparis thyoidesWhite Cypress, Atlantic white cedar, Coast White Cedar, Southern White Cedar, White CypressTree10.0 4-9 SLMHSNDMWe013
Santolina chamaecyparissusCotton LavenderShrub0.6 6-9 FLMNDM223

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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(Siebold & Zucc.) Endl.

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