Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Minima' / minimal Hinoki cypress

Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Minima' is an extremely slow growing, cushion-shaped selection of Hinoki cypress. Branching is extremely short and tight; and miniature fans of finely textured foliage are rich green in color. Plants will perform best if grown with some protection from the winter sun and wind. Does well in USDA Zone 5 at the north side in winter shade.

Established plants grow no more than 1/4 inch (0.5 mm) per year. It is well-suited for planting in troughs and rock gardens.

This cultivar was one of several miniature Hinoki seedlings grown and selected around 1910 by George Gardiner, former nursery foreman at R.H. Rogers & Sons Red Lodge Nursery of Chandler Ford, United Kingdom. Red Lodge began introducing these "tennis ball" seedlings in the early 1920s. They are excellent choices for rock gardens and trough / container culture.

'Minima' is difficult to find in cultivation, but other cultivars of similar habit are available. C. obtusa 'Hage', C. obtusa 'Intermedia', C. obtusa 'Leprechaun', and C. obtusa 'Juniperoides' are all readily available and well worth the effort required to obtain them

Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Minima' in a garden setting. This specimen is about 30 to 40 years old, and measures 18 inches (45 cm) wide by 10 inches (25 cm) tall.
Photo by Bill Barger