Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Densa' / Densa Hinoki cypress

Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Densa' is a densely structured miniature selection of Hinoki cypress with congested, dark-green sprays of foliage. It is similar to Ch. obtusa 'Nana,' but is much slower growing and somewhat broader in structure. After 10 years of growth, a mature specimen will only measure 4 to 6 inches (10 - 15 cm) tall and wide, an annual growth rate of less than 0.5 inch (1 cm).

This cultivar is one of many special miniature seedlings selected around 1910 by George Gardiner, nursery foreman at W.H. Rogers & Sons' Red Lodge Nursery, Southhampton, United Kingdom. This cultivar name is somewhat controversial. In 1923, Murray Hornibrook originally described it and listed it under the name, 'Nana Densa.' Subsequent listings by H.G. Hillier in 1964 and Humphrey Welch in 1979 inexplicably omit the "Nana" part. Nonetheless, 'Densa' appears to prevail in the nursery trade, despite it being a later renaming.

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Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Densa' — a gem for the rockery.
Photo by Don Levesque
Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Densa' — typical flattened bun shape.
Photo by Bill Barger
Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Densa' — an older specimen assuming a tiny conical form.
Photo by Bill Barger
Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Densa' — a closeup of foliage detail.
Photo by Bill Barger
Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Densa' — a closeup of foliage detail.
Photo by Bill Barger
Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Densa' — a magnificent, ancient specimen at Flora Wonder arboretum, Gaston, Oregon.
Photo by David Olszyk
Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Densa' — a closeup of foliage detail.
Photo by David Olszyk

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