Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Nana Lutea' / dwarf golden Hinoki cypress

Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Nana Lutea' is a dwarf selection of Hinoki cypress with bright yellow foliage. The yellow color is a blend of golden yellow foliage and white foliage, the white often being a band interior to the golden yellow. If the plant is planted in full shade, the golden yellow foliage become lime-green. The sprays of foliage are dense and quite congested. It grows at about the same rate as its green counterpart, C. obtusa 'Nana Gracilis', at about 4 to 6 inches (10 - 15 cm) per year, resulting in a dense sculpted shrub 50 inches tall by 30 inches wide (125 x 75 cm) after 10 years in the landscape.

This cultivar originated as a golden sport on a specimen of C. obtusa 'Nana Gracilis' found in 1966 by Jan Spek, Boskoop, The Netherlands. Its irregular dense form and golden color makes it a good focal point in the darker parts of the garden.

Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Nana Lutea' — the plant pictured here is about 20 years old and 7 feet (2m) tall.
Photo by Charlene Harris
Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Nana Lutea' — a compact, slow-growing, golden yellow selection which has become very popular. A yellow alternative to `Nana Gracilis'.
Photo by Iseli Nursery, Inc.
Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Nana' — a closeup of foliage detail.
Photo by Iseli Nursery, Inc.
Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Nana Lutea' — Green Industry Images / copyrighted photo.
Photo by Ernie Wiegand


Gina Jones

Within weeks of planting a deer rubbed his antlers on the trunk. The trunk was stripped bare from the rubbing and slight damage. It’s been about 8 months. The foliage looks healthy at the top and bottom where the deer did no damage. This gives me hope the trunk is healing. However there is no new growth - the tree remains bare in the middle. It’s a slow grower, should I expect new branches at some point? Any advice on what it needs given the trauma?

Maxwell Cohn

Gina, the bark scars on the trunk will heal over time (I've seen it take several years). Any large branches that were removed won't regrow. Conifers grow from the ends of living branches only. No extra care is needed for the tree to recover.

Nia Wynh

Does Chamaecyparis Nana Lutea bronze in the wintertime? or is my specimen a loss? What is the earliest time to check for green underneath the bark (after last frost or can it be sooner?

David Olszyk

it depends on where you are. In colder climates, all Hinokis will bronze a bit. Once daytime temps are consistently about 50 degrees (F), you should be able to check for green cambium. Good luck.