Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Nana' / dwarf Hinoki Cypress

Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Nana' is the very desirable class dwarf Hinoki cypress that is actually harder to locate in the nursery trade than one would think. Over the decades, nurseries have taken the strongest cuttings for propagation essentially creating a faster growing clone that they market under the same name.

A proper Ch. obtusa 'Nana' is a true dwarf with dense, dark, blackish-green cup-shaped sprays of foliage growing with tight, narrowly globose form that over time will "open up," becoming more conical with age. After 10 years, a mature specimen will measure 6 to 8 inches (15 - 20 cm) tall and 5 - 6 inches (12 - 15 cm) wide, an annual growth rate of only about 0.5 inch (less than 1 cm).

This is a very old cultivar that originated in Japan long ago. P.F. van Siebold is credited for introducing the plant to Europe via Leiden, The Netherlands in the 1860s.

Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Nana' Approximately 30 year old speciman of Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Nana'. Located on North side of house has survived Michigan winter with no damage.
Photo by Dennis Groh
Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Nana' Green Industry Images Copyrighted Photo; Donated by Ernie Wiegand.
Photo by Ernie Wiegand
Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Nana'
Photo by Don Levesque

Comments

Nancy Eisnaugle

My dwarf chamaecyparis obtuse "Nana" is planted in a bed which gets sun from dawn until about 1 pm (EST zone) and got "nipped" last winter by the cold weather. Columbus, Ohio often gets slightly below zero but not for long. Over the summer, the brown spots died out and the shrub is mainly green again. Question: how to protect it this coming winter?

David Olszyk

Hi Nancy ... this species is extremely hardy (to at least -20ºF). Internally browning by early fall is part of the normal growth cycle. Some people in zones 2 and 3 try to push the limits by wrapping their plants in burlap and tucking in a heat lamp, but I'm not sure that's the issue if you're only getting slightly sub-zero.